Male sex and smoking have a larger impact on the prevalence of colorectal neoplasia than family history of colorectal cancer

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Oct;8(10):870-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2010.07.004. Epub 2010 Jul 27.


Background & aims: Screening recommendations for colorectal cancer (CRC) commonly take family history but no other risk factors into account. We compared and assessed risk factors of colorectal polyps in a large population undergoing screening colonoscopy.

Methods: We conducted a population-based cross-sectional study that included 3349 subjects, 55 years or older (mean ages of men and women, 63.6 and 63.4 years, respectively), who underwent colonoscopy for the first time within the nationwide colonoscopy screening program in Germany. We calculated prevalences of colorectal polyps and estimated multivariate prevalence ratios (PRs) and population attributable fractions (PAFs).

Results: Overall, 654 subjects had hyperplastic polyps (20%), 675 had non-advanced adenomas (20%), 343 had advanced adenomas (10%), and 40 had CRC (1%). Risk factor prevalences and adjusted PRs were higher for male gender and smoking than for family history of CRC. PAFs for prevalence of non-advanced and advanced neoplasia were highest for male gender (23% and 23%, respectively), followed by smoking (7% and 9%, respectively), and family history of CRC (2% and 4%, respectively).

Conclusions: Male gender and smoking have a larger impact on the prevalence of colorectal neoplasia than family history, suggesting an extensive evaluation of additional risk stratification in population-based screening, particularly by sex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / epidemiology*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Colonic Polyps / epidemiology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family Health*
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical History Taking
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects