Increased risk of colorectal neoplasia among family members of patients with colorectal cancer: A population-based study in Utah

N. Jewel Samadder, Karen Curtin, Thérèse M.F. Tuohy, Kerry G. Rowe, Geraldine P. Mineau, Ken R. Smith, Richard Pimentel, Jathine Wong, Ken Boucher, Randall W. Burt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Background & Aims Colorectal cancer (CRC) frequently develops in multiple members of the same families, but more data are needed to prepare effective screening guidelines. We quantified the risk of CRC and adenomas in first-degree relatives (FDRs) and second-degree relatives and first cousins of individuals with CRC, and stratified risk based on age at cancer diagnosis. Methods We performed a case-control study of Utah residents, 50-80 years old, who underwent colonoscopy from 1995 through 2009. Index cases (exposed to colonoscopy) were colonoscopy patients with a CRC diagnosis. Age- and sex-matched individuals, unexposed to colonoscopy (controls) were selected to form the comparison groups for determining risk in relatives. Colonoscopy results were linked to cancer and pedigree information from the Utah Population Database to investigate familial aggregation of colorectal neoplasia using Cox regression analysis. Results Of 126,936 patients who underwent a colonoscopy, 3804 were diagnosed with CRC and defined the index cases. FDRs had an increased risk of CRC (hazard rate ratio [HRR], 1.79; 95% confidence interval [CI],1.59-2.03), as did second-degree relatives (HRR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.19-1.47) and first cousins (HRR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.07-1.25), compared with relatives of controls. This risk was greater for FDRs when index patients developed CRC at younger than age 60 years (HRR, 2.11; 95% CI, 1.70-2.63), compared with older than age 60 years (HRR, 1.77; 95% CI, 1.58-1.99). The risk of adenomas (HRR, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.66-2.00) and adenomas with villous histology (HRR, 2.43; 95% CI, 1.96-3.01) also were increased in FDRs. Three percent of CRCs in FDRs would have been missed if the current guidelines, which stratify screening recommendations by the age of the proband, were strictly followed. Conclusions FDRs, second-degree relatives, and first cousins of patients who undergo colonoscopy and are found to have CRC have a significant increase in the risk of colorectal neoplasia. These data should be considered when establishing CRC screening guidelines for individuals and families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)814-821.e5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Adenomatous Polyps
  • Colon Cancer
  • Genetic
  • Recurrence Risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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