UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Patterns of Healthcare Utilization Leading to Diagnosis of Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer (yCRC): Population-Based Case-Control Study Farooq, Ameer; Brown, Carl J.; Sayre, E. C.; Raval, Manoj J.; Loree, Jonathan M.; Garg, Ria; De Vera, Mary

Abstract

Background: The increasing risk of young-onset colorectal cancer (yCRC) in adults < 50 years has called for better understanding of patients’ pathways to diagnosis. This study evaluated patterns of healthcare utilization before diagnosis of yCRC. Methods: Using linked administrative health databases in British Columbia, Canada, we identified yCRC cases and cancer-free controls matched (1:10) on age, sex, and healthcare utilization. The index date was the date of diagnosis for yCRC cases and matched date for controls. Outpatient visits, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations over a 5-year prediagnosis period (e.g., year-1 to year-5) were compared using descriptive statistics and Poisson regression models. Results: The study included 2567 yCRC cases (49.6% females, 43.0 ± 5.8 years) and 25,455 controls (48.6% females, 43.0 ± 5.8 years). We observed an increasing number of outpatient visits from prediagnosis year-5 (median = 3) to year-1 (median = 8) for yCRC cases. Among controls, outpatient visits were stable and did not have a pattern of increase. Poisson regression models indicated higher adjusted count ratios for outpatient visits for yCRC cases compared to controls in the year before diagnosis (1.11; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.15). In the year before diagnosis, 35.1% of yCRC cases had potentially related visits to CRC (e.g., nausea, vomiting) and 16.9% had potentially red flag visits (e.g., gastrointestinal hemorrhage or iron deficiency anemia). Conclusions: Using population-based data, we found that individuals with yCRC did not have higher healthcare utilization than individuals without in the prediagnosis period except for the year before diagnosis.

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CC BY 4.0