Predictors of colorectal cancer after negative colonoscopy: a population-based study

Am J Gastroenterol. 2010 Mar;105(3):663-73; quiz 674. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2009.650. Epub 2009 Nov 10.


Objectives: A higher proportion of colorectal neoplasia among women occurs in the proximal colon, which might be more frequently missed by colonoscopy. There are no data on predictors of developing colorectal cancer (CRC) after a negative colonoscopy in usual clinical practice. We evaluated gender differences and predictors of CRC occurring after a negative colonoscopy.

Methods: All individuals 40 years or older with negative colonoscopy were identified from Manitoba's provincial physicians' billing claims database. Individuals with less than 5 years of coverage by the provincial health plan, earlier CRC, inflammatory bowel disease, resective colorectal surgery, or lower gastrointestinal endoscopy were excluded. CRC risk after negative colonoscopy was compared to that in the general population by standardized incidence ratios. Cox regression analysis was performed to determine the independent predictors of CRC occurring after negative colonoscopy.

Results: A total of 45,985 individuals (18,606 men; 27,379 women) were followed up for 229,090 person-years. After a negative colonoscopy, men had a 40-50% lower risk of CRC diagnosis through most of the follow-up time. Risk among women was similar to that of women in the general population in the first 3 years and then was 40-50% lower. Older subject age and performance of index colonoscopy by non-gastroenterologists were independent predictors for early/missed CRC (cancers occurring within 3 years of negative colonoscopy).

Conclusions: Women may have a higher rate of missed/early CRCs after negative colonoscopy. Predictors of missed/early CRCs after negative colonoscopy include older age and performance of index colonoscopy by a non-gastroenterologist.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Colonoscopy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • False Negative Reactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Manitoba / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Survival Rate