Cost Effectiveness of Age-Specific Screening Intervals for People With Family Histories of Colorectal Cancer

Steffie K. Naber, Karen M. Kuntz, Nora B. Henrikson, Marc S. Williams, Ned Calonge, Katrina A.B. Goddard, Doris T. Zallen, Theodore G. Ganiats, Elizabeth M. Webber, A. Cecile J.W. Janssens, Marjolein van Ballegooijen, Ann G. Zauber, Iris Lansdorp-Vogelaar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background & Aims Relative risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) decreases with age among individuals with a family history of CRC. However, no screening recommendations specify less frequent screening with increasing age. We aimed to determine whether such a refinement would be cost effective. Methods We determined the relative risk for CRC for individuals based on age and number of affected first-degree relatives (FDRs) using data from publications. For each number of affected FDRs, we used the Microsimulation Screening Analysis model to estimate costs and effects of colonoscopy screening strategies with different age ranges and intervals. Screening was then optimized sequentially, starting with the youngest age group, and allowing the interval of screening to change at certain ages. Strategies with an incremental cost effectiveness ratio below $100,000 per quality-adjusted life year were considered cost effective. Results For people with 1 affected FDR (92% of those with a family history), screening every 3 years beginning at an age of 40 years is most cost effective. If no adenomas are found, the screening interval can gradually be extended to 5 and 7 years, at ages 45 and 55 years, respectively. From a cost-effectiveness perspective, individuals with more affected FDRs should start screening earlier and at shorter intervals. However, frequency can be reduced if no abnormalities are found. Conclusions Using a microsimulation model, we found that for individuals with a family history of CRC, it is cost effective to gradually increase the screening interval if several subsequent screening colonoscopies have negative results and no new cases of CRC are found in family members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-116.e20
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding This publication was primarily funded by grant no. U01CA152959 from the National Cancer Institute as part of the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET), with a supplement from the Evaluation of Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention (EGAPP). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Cancer Institute.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 AGA Institute


  • Colon Cancer
  • Cost-Effectiveness Analysis
  • Genetic Risk Factor
  • Inherited
  • Relative Risk (RR)


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