BCBS: Rise in chronic conditions increasing colorectal cancer risk, especially for millennials

Chronic conditions that can increase risk for colorectal cancer are rising, especially among millennials, according to a new report from Blue Cross Blue Shield.

BCBS and Blue Health Intelligence leveraged data from BCBS Axis Data, BCBS Health Index and a 2020 BCBSA consumer survey. The survey was conducted February 10-11 and consisted of 1,140 commercially insured adults. The prevalence rates were estimated using BCBS Health Index 2014-18 data.

While the overall rate of colorectal cancer diagnoses remained steady, the prevalence of conditions that increase the risk for colorectal cancer have dramatically increased. Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, diabetes and obesity are rising among multiple age groups, especially among millennials.  

Data show that patients with Crohn's and ulcerative colitis have nearly twice as high of risk for colorectal cancer. Patients with diabetes or diagnosed obesity are at a 1.7- and 1.3-times greater risk of getting colorectal cancer, respectively, compared to those without said conditions.

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