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Abstract

Findings from a large study of Medicare beneficiaries, published online on September 27, 2016, in Annals of Internal Medicine, suggest that colonoscopy screening has only modest benefits for those ages 70 to 74 years and less benefit in those ages 75 to 79 years. Participants had no history of colorectal cancer or testing in the previous five years, and the eligibility criteria were matched as closely as possible to ongoing colonoscopy trials, which target patients of “average” risk. Risks of adverse events after colonoscopy were small in both groups. The results were consistent with current guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommending individualized screening decisions for those 75 years and older.