Impact of family history on CRC risk decreases with age

Christina Lau
03 Jul 2018
Impact of family history on CRC risk decreases with age

Family history of colorectal cancer (CRC) in a first-degree relative (FDR) appears to confer a higher risk of CRC in younger vs older individuals, a study by the Chinese University of Hong Kong has shown.

The researchers analyzed data from 63 case-control/cohort studies that investigated the relationship between family history of CRC in FDRs and the prevalence of CRC. The studies, published between 1992 and 2016, included a total of 9.28 million individuals. [Am J Gastroenterol 2018, doi: 10.1038/s41395-018-0075-y]

A family history of CRC in FDRs conferred a significantly increased risk of CRC (relative risk [RR], 1.76; p<0.001). The increased risk was found to be higher in those <40 years vs those 40 years of age (RR, 3.29 vs 1.42; p=0.017), and in those <50 years vs those 50 years of age (RR, 2.81 vs 1/47; p=0.001).

Current CRC risk prediction algorithms assign a fixed score for family history of CRC regardless of age. Based on these findings, the researchers suggested that a higher score be assigned to positive family history for younger individuals, with the predictive capability of this approach to be assessed in future studies.

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