Association between socioeconomic deprivation and colorectal cancer screening outcomes: Low uptake rates among the most and least deprived people

Andrea Buron, Josep M. Auge, Maria Sala, Marta Román, Antoni Castells, Francesc Macià, Mercè Comas, Carolina Guiriguet, Xavier Bessa, Xavier Castells

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© 2017 Buron et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background Screening with faecal occult blood tests reduces colorectal cancer-related mortality; however, age, sex and socioeconomic factors affect screening outcomes and could lead to unequal mortality benefits. The aim of this study was to describe the main outcomes of the population-based Barcelona colorectal cancer screening programme (BCRCSP) by deprivation. Methods Retrospective study of the eligible population of the first round of the BCRCSP. Participants’ postal addresses were linked with the MEDEA database to obtain the deprivation quintiles (Dq). Chi-squared tests were used to compare proportions across variables and logistic regression was used to estimate the adjusted effects of age, sex and deprivation on uptake, FIT positivity, colonoscopy adherence and advanced neoplasia detection rate. Results Overall uptake was 44.7%, higher in Dq2, 3 and 4 (OR 1.251, 1.250 and 1.276, respectively) than in the least deprived quintile (Dq 1), and lowest in Dq5 (OR 0.84). Faecal immunochemical test (FIT) positivity and the percentage of people with detectable faecal haemoglobin.below the positivity threshold increased with deprivation. The advanced neoplasia detection rate was highest in Dq4. Conclusion Unlike most regions where inequalities are graded along the socioeconomic continuum, inequalities in the uptake of colorectal cancer screening in Spain seem to be concentrated first in the most disadvantaged group and second in the least deprived group. The correlation of deprivation with FIT-positivity and faecal haemoglobin below the positivity threshold is worrying due to its association with colorectal cancer and overall mortality.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0179864
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


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