Comparison of Fecal Occult Blood Tests for Colorectal Cancer Screening in an Alaska Native Population With High Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori Infection, 2008–2012
Published Date:Apr 10 2014
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 11.
Alaska Native colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality rates are the highest of any ethnic/racial group in the United States. CRC screening using guaiac-based fecal occult blood tests (gFOBT) are not recommended for Alaska Native people because of false-positive results associated with a high prevalence of Helicobacter pylori-associated hemorrhagic gastritis. This study evaluated whether the newer immunochemical FOBT (iFOBT) resulted in a lower false-positive rate and higher specificity for detecting advanced colorectal neoplasia than gFOBT in a population with elevated prevalence of H. pylori infection.
We used a population-based sample of 304 asymptomatic Alaska Native adults aged 40 years or older undergoing screening or surveillance colonoscopy (April 2008–January 2012).
Specificity differed significantly (P < .001) between gFOBT (76%; 95% CI, 71%–81%) and iFOBT (92%; 95% CI, 89%–96%). Among H. pylori-positive participants (54%), specificity of iFOBT was even higher (93% vs 69%). Overall, sensitivity did not differ significantly (P = .73) between gFOBT (29%) and iFOBT (36%). Positive predictive value was 11% for gFOBT and 32% for iFOBT.
The iFOBT had a significantly higher specificity than gFOBT, especially in participants with current H. pylori infection. The iFOBT represents a potential strategy for expanding CRC screening among Alaska Native and other populations with elevated prevalence of H. pylori, especially where access to screening endoscopy is limited.
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