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Colorectal cancer screening rate low among Hispanics and Asian Americans aged 50 to 54

Colorectal cancer screening prevalence remained low in 2018 among U.S. adults aged 50 to 54 years, especially among Hispanics and Asians. Screening guidelines recently changed to recommend starting at age 45 for those with an average risk of the cancer.

“To anticipate some of the challenges implementing screening programs, we examined patterns of screening among adults aged 50 to 54 years who were once the youngest age group eligible for screening,” said Caitlin C. Murphy, PhD, of The University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health.

She and her colleagues analyzed the medical records of 80,000 individuals aged 50 to 75 collected between 2000 and 2018.

Results showed an overall increase in the prevalence of colorectal cancer screening, from 36.7% in 2000 to 66.1% in 2018. But in 2018, the lowest screening prevalence overall was among those aged 50 to 54 years (47.6%), including Hispanic (56.5%) and  Asian individuals (57.1%).

The persistent and worsening disparities we observed in adults aged 50 to 54 years may extend to those aged 45 to 49 years as they become eligible for screening, Murphy said.