Race, ethnicity, and sex affect risk for polyps >9 mm in average-risk individuals

David A. Lieberman, J. Lucas Williams, Jennifer L. Holub, Cynthia D. Morris, Judith R. Logan, Glenn M. Eisen, Patricia Carney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Background & Aims Colorectal cancer risk differs based on patient demographics. We aimed to measure the prevalence of significant colorectal polyps in average-risk individuals and to determine differences based on age, sex, race, or ethnicity. Methods In a prospective study, colonoscopy data were collected, using an endoscopic report generator, from 327,785 average-risk adults who underwent colorectal cancer screening at 84 gastrointestinal practice sites from 2000 to 2011. Demographic characteristics included age, sex, race, and ethnicity. The primary outcome was the presence of suspected malignancy or large polyp(s) >9 mm. The benchmark risk for age to initiate screening was based on white men, 50-54 years old. Results Risk of large polyps and tumors increased progressively in men and women with age. Women had lower risks than men in every age group, regardless of race. Blacks had higher risk than whites from ages 50 through 65 years and Hispanics had lower risk than whites from ages 50 through 80 years. The prevalence of large polyps was 6.2% in white men 50-54 years old. The risk was similar among the groups of white women 65-69 years old, black women 55-59 years old, black men 50-54 years old, Hispanic women 70-74 years old, and Hispanic men 55-59 years old. The risk of proximal large polyps increased with age, female sex, and black race. Conclusions There are differences in the prevalence and location of large polyps and tumors in average-risk individuals based on age, sex, race, and ethnicity. These findings could be used to select ages at which specific groups should begin colorectal cancer screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-358
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • CRC
  • Colon Cancer
  • Early Detection
  • Rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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