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Limit colorectal screening in the elderly?


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									newsline1208.qxp    11/25/2008     1:37 PM     Page 10

      Limit colorectal screening in the elderly?
      THE U.S. Preventive ServicesTask       methods. After finding in 2002

                                                                                                                                              © APHP-PSL / PHOTO RESEARCHERS, INC.
      Force (USPSTF) is calling for an       that evidence was insufficient to
      end to colorectal cancer (CRC)         recommend one approach over
      screening for persons older than       another, the USPSTF now asserts
      85 years and is recommending           that adults aged 50-75 years
      against routine screening for those    should be screened using one of
      aged 76-85 years. This is the first    the following approaches: annual
      time the USPSTF has indicated an       high-sensitivity fecal occult blood
      age at which people should stop        testing, sigmoidoscopy every five
      being screened for this disease.       years with annual fecal occult test-
        According to the task force,per-     ing in between, or colonoscopy
      sons older than 85 should not be       every 10 years.                        A government        gist Mark Delegge, MD, drew
      screened at all for CRC because          Screening may be especially im-      task force sees     their findings from information
      the harms of such testing may be       portant for people with metabolic      little benefit in   yielded annually by the National
      significant and other conditions       syndrome,which appears to boost        screening those     Health Interview Survey.The in-
      may be more likely to affect the       the risk of CRC, according to a        older than age      vestigators analyzed data from
      health or well-being of these in-      report presented at the recent an-     85 years.           approximately 350 individuals re-
      dividuals. For adults aged 76-85       nual scientific meeting of the                             porting a history of CRC and
      years, the benefits of regular         American College of Gastroen-                              nearly 1,200 reporting a history of
      screening are deemed “small”           terology held in Orlando.                                  metabolic syndrome.They found
      compared with the risks (Ann             Two researchers from the Med-                            that those with metabolic syn-
      Intern Med.2008;149:627-637).          ical University of South Carolina                          drome were 75% more likely to
        The update also puts forth new       in Charleston — internist 
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