When a black person develops an adenoma of the colon, the tumor tends to be larger and more advanced than in people of other racial groups. Here's what MedPageToday has to say about the latest study:
"The study included 80,061 white and 5,464 black patients who had a colonoscopy report in the database. All patients were asymptomatic.
Overall, polyps larger than 9 mm in diameter were more prevalent in black than white patients (7.7% versus 6.2%), a difference that extended across all age and gender groups.
Black women were 62% more likely than white women to have at least one advanced polyp even after adjustment for age, sex, and site type (odds ratio 1.62, 95% confidence interval 1.39 to 1.89).
Black men were 16% more likely to have at least one lesion larger than 9 mm compared with white men (OR 1.16, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.34).
Men were more likely than women to have the large polyps that typically represent precancerous lesions (OR 0.59 for white women versus men, 95% CI 0.55 to 0.63, and OR 0.82 for black women versus men, 95% CI 0.67 to 1.00)."
The American College of Gastroenterology wants blacks to start screening colonoscopy at age 45, compared to age 50 for members of other groups. These data support this policy, and other groups may follow this recommendation. This also seems like a helpful trend away from one-size-fits-all screening for cancers and other conditions. If you're black and approaching 45, ask your doctor about this. The orignal study appears in the current issue of JAMA.