Sociodemographic correlates of fecal immunotesting for colorectal cancer screening

Clin Biochem. 2015 Feb;48(3):105-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2014.12.004. Epub 2014 Dec 11.


Objectives: Community fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) screening programs are important for detecting early disease and can be effective when promoted by primary care physicians. Screening rates remain low across Canada and may be associated with sociodemographic factors.

Design and methods: Fecal immunochemical testing results for a new community-based screening program were obtained from Calgary Laboratory Services from November 18, 2013 to May 31, 2014. Screening rates were determined for specific age and sex cohorts and sociodemographic factors were inferred from census Canada data. Poisson regression and generalized estimating equations were used to test associations of screening rate with sociodemographic variables.

Results: A total of 27,572 results were screened and included in our analysis. Recent immigrants (RR = 0.18, P = <.0001), Aboriginal First Nations (RR = 0.39, P = 0.01), Aboriginal Metis (RR = 0.14, P = 0.0003), visible minority Black (RR = 0.35, P = 0.0002), and higher education (RR = 0.65, P = <.0001) were associated with decreased screening. Visible minority Chinese (RR = 1.72, P = <.0001) were more likely to be screened. Household income was not associated with screening rate. Older individuals and females were less likely to be screened.

Conclusion: There is significant geographic variation in screening rates in Calgary. These are associated with a number of sociodemographic factors.

Keywords: FIT; Fecal immunochemical testing; Hot spot analysis maps; Sociodemographic variables.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Canada
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Demography*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods*
  • Feces / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Geography
  • Humans
  • Immunochemistry / methods*
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Software