(HealthDay News) — For individuals undergoing outpatient colonoscopy, the risk of 30-day postcolonoscopy complications is increased for those aged ≥75 years, according to a study published online June 25 in JAMA Network Open.

Natalia Causada-Calo, M.D., from the University of Toronto, and colleagues examined the correlation between older age and the risk of postcolonoscopy complications in the 30-day period after outpatient colonoscopy. A total of 38,069 adults (≥50 years) were included in the study sample, and 73.1 percent underwent a first colonoscopy.

The researchers found that the cumulative incidence of complications was 3.4 percent in the overall cohort, and was higher in those aged 75 years or older versus screening-eligible patients (aged 50 to 74 years) (6.8 versus 2.6 percent). Age ≥75 years, anemia, cardiac arrhythmia, congestive heart failure, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, smoking history, and obesity were independent risk factors for postcolonoscopy complications (odds ratios, 2.3, 1.4, 1.7, 3.4, 1.2, 1.8, 4.7, 3.2, and 2.3, respectively). A lower risk of complications was seen in association with number of previous colonoscopies (odds ratio, 0.9). Compared with the screening-eligible cohort, the older cohort had higher incidence of surgically treated colorectal cancer (1.6 versus 0.5 percent).

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“In accordance with our findings, the decision to perform colonoscopy should be considered carefully in older patients, particularly in the presence of comorbidities,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text