Factors associated with advanced colorectal cancer differ between young and older adults in England: a population-based cohort study

A C Chambers, S W Dixon, P White, M G Thomas, A C Williams, D E Messenger

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Aim: Advanced stage presentation of colorectal cancer is associated with poorer survival outcomes, particularly among young adults. This study aimed to determine whether demographic risk factors for advanced stage presentation differed between young and older adults. Method: Individual-level data on all incident colorectal cancers in people aged 20 years and above were extracted from the National Cancer Registration and Analysis: Service database for the years 2012 to 2015. Patients were divided into two cohorts: young-onset colorectal cancer (YOCC) if aged 20–49 years and older-onset colorectal cancer (OOCC) if aged 50 years and above. Logistic regression was used to identify risk factors for advanced stage presentation, defined as TNM Stage III or IV, in each cohort. Results: There were 7075 (5.2%) patients in the YOCC cohort and 128 345 (94.8%) patients in the OOCC cohort. Tumours in the YOCC cohort were more likely to be at an advanced stage (67.2% vs 55.3%, P < 0.001) and located distally (63.7% vs 55.4%, P < 0.001). No demographic factor was consistently associated with advanced stage presentation in the YOCC cohort. Among the OOCC cohort, increased social deprivation [OR (Index of Multiple Deprivation quintile 5 vs1) = 1.11 (95% CI 1.07–1.16), P < 0.001], Black/Black British ethnicity [OR (baseline White) = 1.25 (95% CI 1.11–1.40), P < 0.001] and residence in the East Midlands [OR (baseline London) = 1.11 (95% CI 1.04–1.17), P = 0.001] were associated with advanced stage presentation. Conclusion: Demographic factors associated with advanced disease were influenced by age. The effects of social deprivation and ethnicity were only observed in older adults and mirror trends in screening uptake. Targeted interventions for high-risk groups are warranted
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalColorectal Disease
Early online date14 Sep 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Sep 2020


  • colorectal neoplasms
  • demography
  • risk factors
  • age distribution
  • socioeconomic factors
  • ethnic groups

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