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Colorectal Cancer Screening Initiation After Age 50 Years in an Organized Program

      Introduction

      Recent studies report racial disparities among individuals in organized colorectal cancer (CRC) programs; however, there is a paucity of information on CRC screening utilization by race/ethnicity among newly age-eligible adults in such programs.

      Methods

      This was a retrospective cohort study among Kaiser Permanente Northern California enrollees who turned age 50 years between 2007 and 2012 (N=138,799) and were served by a systemwide outreach and facilitated in-reach screening program based primarily on mailed fecal immunochemical tests to screening-eligible people. Kaplan–Meier and Cox model analyses were used to estimate differences in receipt of CRC screening in 2015–2016.

      Results

      Cumulative probabilities of CRC screening within 1 and 2 years of subjects’ 50th birthday were 51% and 73%, respectively. Relative to non-Hispanic whites, the likelihood of completing any CRC screening was similar in blacks (hazard ratio, 0.98; 95% CI=0.96, 1.00); 5% lower in Hispanics (hazard ratio, 0.95; 95% CI=0.93, 0.96); and 13% higher in Asians (hazard ratio, 1.13; 95% CI=1.11, 1.15) in adjusted analyses. Fecal immunochemical testing was the most common screening modality, representing 86% of all screening initiations. Blacks and Hispanics had lower receipt of fecal immunochemical testing in adjusted analyses.

      Conclusions

      CRC screening uptake was high among newly screening-eligible adults in an organized CRC screening program, but Hispanics were less likely to initiate screening near age 50 years than non-Hispanic whites, suggesting that cultural and other individual-level barriers not addressed within the program likely contribute. Future studies examining the influences of culturally appropriate and targeted efforts for screening initiation are needed.
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