Fecal occult blood tied to elevated all-cause mortality risk

Patients with detectable fecal hemoglobin or a positive guaiac fecal occult blood test result face a higher risk of dying from colorectal cancer, compared with those who had a negative test result, according to a study in Gut. This is as expected, as blood in the stool is a well-known sign of potential colon cancer. However, the study also showed that there was a 58% greater risk of all-cause mortality, meaning blood in the stool was a sentinel for death from any cause. The findings were based on data for 134,192 patients ages 50 to 74 years who had occult blood in the stool from March 29, 2000, to March 29, 2016.

4 thoughts on “Fecal occult blood tied to elevated all-cause mortality risk

  1. Australia therefore has compulsory bowel screening every 2 years for all citizens above 50 years. If occult blood is detected than you need to go for endoscopy right away for removal of polyps or further treatment. It has actually help lower bowel cancer mortality. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ

    1. Nothing is compulsory in the US. However, the recommendations for colonoscopy starting at age 50, or secondary recommendations if patients refuse, has also lowered mortality from colon cancer here. The odd thing is this study made a connection between blood in the stool and “all cause mortality,” meaning death from things not related to colon cancer.

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