Deprivation and faecal haemoglobin: implications for bowel cancer screening

Jayne Digby, Paula J. McDonald, Judith A. Strachan, Gillian Libby, Robert J. C. Steele, Callum G. Fraser (Lead / Corresponding author)

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    Objective To investigate the relationship between deprivation and faecal haemoglobin concentration (f-Hb). Setting Scottish Bowel Screening Programme. Methods A total of 66725 men and women, aged 50 to 74, were invited to provide a single sample for a faecal immunochemical test. Deprivation was estimated using the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation quintiles: f-Hb was measured (OC-Sensor, Eiken, Japan) on 38439 participants. The relationship between deprivation quintiles and f-Hb was examined. Results Median age was 60 years, 53.6% women, with 14.1%, 19.7%, 17.7%, 25.9% and 22.6% in the lowest to the highest deprivation quintiles respectively. No detectable f-Hb was found in 51.9%, ranging from 45.5% in the most deprived up to 56.5% in the least deprived. As deprivation increased, f-Hb increased (p < 0.0001). This trend remained controlling for sex and age (p < 0.001). Participants in the most deprived quintile were more likely to have a f-Hb above a cut-off of 80 µg Hb/g faeces compared with the least deprived, independent of sex and age (adjusted odds ratio 1.70, 95% confidence interval: 1.37 to 2.11). Conclusions Deprivation and f-Hb are related. This has important implications for selection of cut-off f-Hb for screening programmes, and supports the inclusion of deprivation in risk-scoring systems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)95-97
    Number of pages3
    JournalJournal of Medical Screening
    Issue number2
    Early online date6 May 2014
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


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