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J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Jun;27(6):1070-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2011.06944.x.

Adherence to follow-up after a positive fecal occult blood test in an organized colorectal cancer screening program in Korea, 2004-2008.

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National Cancer Control Institute, National Cancer Center, Gyeonggi-do, Korea.



To investigate the participation rates, positivity rates, and follow-up rates from 2004 to 2008 in an organized colorectal cancer (CRC) screening program using a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) in Korea.


The study population was men and women aged 50 years or older who were invited to participate in the National Cancer Screening Program for CRC between 1 January 2004 and 31 December 2008. We collected the FOBT results and follow-up information for the FOBT positives.


Participation rates increased steadily each year from 10.5% in 2004 to 21.1% in 2008. Between 2004 and 2008, FOBT positivity rates declined from 8.0% to 6.8%. Among the FOBT-positives, 61.3% of participants underwent either colonoscopy or double contrast barium enema (DCBE) in 2004, and this rate decreased to 38.6% in 2008. Age, health insurance type, and screening history were associated with adherence to follow-up test after a positive FOBT. With regard to follow-up tests, colonoscopy rates increased from 17.9% in 2004 to 27.6% in 2008, while DCBE decreased from 43.4% in 2004 to 11.0% in 2008. Colonoscopy was significantly more likely to be chosen as a follow-up test by men, participants aged 50-59 years, and National Health Insurance beneficiaries.


These findings suggest that targeting participants for follow-up, based on age and previous screening history, could be a good way to improve the follow-up rate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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