Impact of race-specific screening guideline on the uptake of colorectal cancer screening among young African Americans

Hyo Jung Tak, I. Wen Pan, Michael T. Halpern, Ya Chen Tina Shih

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: African Americans (AAs) have had lower colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates, higher incidence rate, and earlier mean age at onset. The 2017 U.S. Multi-Society Task Force (MSTF) recommended initiating CRC screening at age 45 for AAs and age 50 for non-AAs. Objective: To investigate the impact of the 2017 MSTF's race-specific guidelines on CRC screening rate among young AAs. Design, setting, and participants: We used the 2015 and 2018 National Health Interview Survey to provide nationally representative estimates. The study sample included adults aged between 45 and 75 without a history of CRC, excluding screening recipients for diagnosis or surveillance purposes. Main measures: The outcome is a binary variable of CRC screening. Primary independent variables were age and race category (non-AAs aged 45–49, AAs 45–49, non-AAs 50–75, AAs 50–75), a binary variable indicating before or after the 2017 MSTF guideline (2015 vs. 2018), and their interaction terms. We employed a multivariable logistic model, adjusting for individual characteristics, and accounting for complex survey design. Key results: Among the total sample (n = 21,735), CRC screening rate increased from 54.6% in 2015 to 58.5% in 2018 (p < 0.01). By age and race, the screening rate exhibited an increase for all age and race groups except for young non-AAs. Compared to young non-AAs, the adjusted predicted probability (APP) of screening for young AAs was significantly higher by 0.10 (average marginal effect, 0.10; 95% confidence interval, 0.01–0.19) in 2018, while the difference was insignificant in 2015. Racial differences in screening among older adults were not significant in both years. The CRC screening rate was substantially lower among young AAs compared to older AAs (17.2% vs. 65.5% in 2018). Conclusion: The race-specific recommendation is an effective policy tool to increase screening uptake and would contribute to reducing cancer disparities among racial/ethnic minorities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5013-5024
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Medicine
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • U.S. multi-society task force
  • cancer screening
  • colorectal cancer
  • racial disparities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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