Increased risk of adenomas in individuals with a family history of colorectal cancer: results of a meta-analysis

Cancer Causes Control. 2010 Dec;21(12):2287-93. doi: 10.1007/s10552-010-9654-y. Epub 2010 Oct 28.


Objective: It is unclear to what extent the increased risk of colorectal cancer in individuals with a family history of colorectal cancer and no known genetic disorders is associated with a higher adenoma prevalence. Our aim is to estimate the relative difference in adenoma prevalence and its age-pattern in individuals with a family history of colorectal cancer compared to those without.

Methods: We performed a literature search to identify colonoscopy studies reporting the adenoma prevalence by age. Using multilevel logistic regression, we examined how the adenoma prevalence by age differed between individuals with and without a family history of colorectal cancer. We excluded members of families with a known genetic disorder.

Results: Thirteen colonoscopy studies were identified. The adenoma prevalence was significantly higher in individuals with a family history than in those without (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.4-3.5). The adenoma prevalence increased with age (OR per year of age 1.06, 95% CI 1.05-1.07). The age trend did not differ significantly between the two groups.

Conclusion: Individuals with a family history of colorectal cancer have a considerably higher prevalence of adenomas compared to individuals without a family history. This is consistent with their increased risk of colorectal cancer.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / epidemiology
  • Adenoma / etiology*
  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Disease Susceptibility / epidemiology
  • Family Health*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical History Taking
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors