Purpose: This study was designed to determine whether patients with coronary artery disease are at elevated risk for colorectal neoplasia.
Methods: A case-control study was conducted among consecutive patients in three colonoscopy practices in New York City from 1986 to 1988. All study participants completed an interview questionnaire covering demographics, diet, environmental and behavioral exposures, family and personal medical history, and other variables. For the present study, 298 newly diagnosed colorectal adenoma cases and 107 incident cancer cases were compared with 507 colonoscoped controls without colorectal neoplasia or other significant findings on colonoscopy. Data on history of coronary artery disease (angina and/or heart attack) were obtained solely from the study participants' questionnaire responses.
Results: No association was observed between angina, heart attack, or either and colorectal adenomas in males. However, prior coronary artery disease was found to be associated with colorectal cancer in males more than 60 years of age and with colorectal adenomas in females aged 50 years or younger.
Conclusion: Men with coronary artery disease may be at elevated risk for subsequent colorectal cancer. Young women with coronary artery disease also may be at elevated risk for colorectal neoplasia.