Trends in colorectal cancer over a half century in Rochester, Minnesota, 1940 to 1989

C. Mary Beard, Robert J. Spencer, Louis H. Weiland, W. Michael O'Fallon, L. Joseph Melton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Recent reports of increasing incidence, especially in men, led us to update through 1989 an earlier study of colorectal cancer incidence in Rochester that covered the period 1940 through 1979. The combined data reflected cancer trends in the community over half a century. Data resources of the Rochester Epidemiology Project were used to identify new cases of colon and rectal cancer among Rochester residents. Incidence rates were estimated using decennial census data, and 95% confidence intervals were based on the Poisson distribution. The GLIM statistical package was used to evaluate trends over time. Age-adjusted (US white 1970) incidence rates of colorectal cancer for men were 53.7, 61.3, 53.7, 54.2, and 52.5 per 100,000 person-years, respectively, for the decades 1940 to 1949, 1950 to 1959, 1960 to 1969, 1970 to 1979, and 1980 to 1989. Comparable rates for women were 42.7, 49.3, 42.9, 40.7, and 40.9 per 100,000 person-years. No statistically significant changes were seen in the incidence of colon and rectum cancer for men or women. There was no consistent trend in tumor stage at diagnosis and the mean size of the initial lesion did not change with time. The incidence of colorectal cancer has not changed over the past 50 years in this community where case ascertainment has been consistent and complete.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-214
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1995


  • Colorectal cancer
  • epidemiology
  • incidence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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