Disparate CRC mortality rates highlighted in the USA
medwireNews: Population-based data have revealed discrepancies in colorectal cancer (CRC) mortality trends in the USA, with rates rising in White individuals aged 20–54 years but declining among Black individuals.
These “[d]isparate racial patterns conflict with trends in major CRC risk factors like obesity, which are similar in white and black individuals,” observe Rebecca Siegel and co-investigators from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, Georgia.
Between 1970 and 2004, the overall CRC mortality rate fell from 6.3 to 3.9 cases per 100,000 head of population, but increased by 1.0% each year thereafter to reach 4.3 cases per 100,000 by 2014.
This increase was attributed to a 1.4% annual increase in the rate among White individuals between 2004 and 2014; among the Black population, the annual decrease was 0.4% between 1970 and 2000, followed by a yearly 1.1% decrease in the rate between 2000 and 2014. Trends for other races showed a decrease in CRC mortality between 1970 and 2006 but stable rates thereafter.
Further analysis showed that White individuals aged 20–29 years had a stable CRC mortality rate for the 1988–2014 period, whereas those aged 30–39 years had an annual increase of 1.6% between 1995 and 2014. And for White individuals aged 40–49 and 50–54 years, there was an annual 1.9% and 0.9% increase in CRC mortality recorded between 2005 and 2014, respectively.
The researchers conclude in JAMA: “Escalating mortality rates in young and middle-aged adults highlight the need for earlier CRC detection through age-appropriate screening and more timely follow-up of symptoms.”
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