Fecal-Based Colorectal Cancer Screening Among the Uninsured in Northern Manhattan

Hillyer, Grace A.; Schmitt, Karen M.; Freedberg, Daniel E.; Kramer, Rachel A.; Su, Yin; Rosenberg, Richard M.; Neugut, Alfred I.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening reduces CRC mortality; however, for many reasons, uninsured individuals are less likely to utilize CRC screening tests.

To compare CRC screening behaviors and outcomes with guaiac fecal occult blood testing (gFOBT) from 1998 to 2006 and fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) from 2006 to 2010 in a community-based program serving uninsured patients in northern Manhattan.

In 2013, we conducted a retrospective record review of individuals aged ≥50 years who received fecal-based CRC screening at the Northern Manhattan Cancer Screening Partnership between 1998 and 2010. Included were those with household income ≤250% of the federal poverty level, no medical insurance coverage, and who were not up to date with CRC screening. We assessed screening positivity rate, positive predictive value, differences in the use of diagnostic colonoscopy, colonoscopic findings, and adenoma detection rates for gFOBT versus FIT.

In total, 7,710 patients completed CRC screenings (4,951 gFOBT and 2,759 FIT). The majority were female, Hispanic, foreign born, and young at age of first screening. Compared to gFOBT, FIT detected twice as many positive tests (3.2% vs 1.5%, p≤0.001) and had a higher adenoma detection rate (18.2 vs 11.8, p=0.002).

The improved positivity and adenoma detection rates with greater number of screening tests over time favor the use of FIT over gFOBT for colorectal screening among uninsured populations in northern Manhattan.


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American Journal of Preventive Medicine

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September 17, 2014