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Am J Gastroenterol. 1994 Aug;89(8):1156-9.

A normal initial colonoscopy after age 50 does not predict a polyp-free status for life.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Phoenix DVAMC, Arizona.



The prevalence of colon polyps increases with age in the general population. It is unknown whether a lack of adenomatous polyps determined at one time point after the age of 50 is predictive of a subsequent low risk of polyp development.


Twenty-nine patients between ages 50 and 70 who had no prior history of polyps and had a normal colonoscopy at least 5 yr previously were recruited for follow-up colonoscopy to evaluate the incidence of neoplastic disease in this presumably low-risk group.


The incidence of adenomatous polyps after a mean of 5.74 yr was 41.4% (95% confidence interval: 23.5-61.1%). A total of 20 adenomatous polyps were found in 12 patients. Seven polyps were 5 mm or more in size.


We conclude that in patients with no history of colonic neoplasia who are 50 yr old, or older, the finding of a normal colonoscopy does not predict diminished risk of neoplasia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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