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Women With IBD at Lower Risk for Colorectal Cancer Than Men

Men with inflammatory bowel disease at 60 percent higher colorectal cancer risk than women

WEDNESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Women with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at a lower risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC) than men with the disease, according to a study published in the May issue of Gastroenterology.

In a large population-based cohort study, Sverre Söderlund, M.D., of the Stockholm Söder Hospital in Sweden, and colleagues evaluated 7,607 individuals diagnosed with IBD between 1954 and 1989 to assess the sex-specific incidence of CRC between 1960 and 2004. Data from national Swedish health and census registers were used to compare the incidence of CRC within the cohort to that of the general population.

The researchers found 196 new cases of CRC (123 in males and 73 in females) during 171,000 person-years of follow-up. Males with IBD had a 60 percent higher risk of CRC compared to their female counterparts, with the cumulative incidence 40 years post-IBD diagnosis at 8.3 percent among males and 3.5 percent among females. Compared to the rate of CRC among the general population, the relative risk of CRC among males was higher than among females (relative risks, 2.6 and 1.9, respectively). However, the effect of sex appeared to be limited to patients diagnosed before age 45 and to the period starting after 10 years of follow-up.

"The results of our study suggest that both in terms of relative and absolute risks, IBD entails a higher risk of CRC in males than in females, even when taking the underlying sex difference in the general population occurrence of CRC into account," the authors write.

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