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Faecal occult blood screening reduced the incidence of colorectal cancer
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 QUESTION: Does faecal occult blood screening reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer?

Design

Randomised {allocation concealed*}, unblinded,* controlled trial with 18 years follow up.

Setting

Minnesota, USA.

Participants

46 551 participants who were 50–80 years of age (52% women) and did not have a previous diagnosis of colorectal cancer. Follow up for vital status was 91% at 18 years.

Intervention

Participants were allocated to annual screening (n=15 532), biennial screening (n=15 550), or usual care (n=15 363). For each screening, which was done from 1976–82 and from 1986–92, participants prepared 2 guaiac impregnated paper slides for each of 3 consecutive stools. The mean rate of compliance was 75% in the annual screening group and 78% in the biennial screening group. Participants with ≥1 positive slide had a …

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