Impact of Various Risk Factors on the Positive Fecal Immunochemical Test for Colorectal Cancer in the Iranian Population

Nasrin Milani, Tayyebeh Jalayernia Darband, Ehsan Mousa Farkhani, Ladan Goshayeshi, Mona Kabiri



Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the most prevalent cancer with high mortality worldwide. We aimed to evaluate the incidence of CRC based on the positive fecal immunochemical test (FIT) result in the Iranian population.


The present study was conducted on the health assessment data recorded in the SINA system in 2018 and 2019 from individuals who had participated in the national program, including asymptomatic people aged 50-69 years or had risk factors of colorectal cancer such as family or past personal history of CRC as well as symptomatic individuals, for the early detection and prevention of CRC in Mashhad, Iran.


The study participants included 140,463 eligible individuals, of whom 8,258 (5.88%) and 145 (2.21%) were positive for FIT and diagnosed with colon cancer, respectively. Unfortunately, only 654 people had undergone colonoscopy. Our results indicated that age, fast food intake (two units per day), family history of CRC in first or second-degree relatives, some gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and CRC, as well as bleeding per anus, constipation, abdominal cramp, and losing body weight were associated with increased risk of positive FIT. However, some other factors, including having a hard job, physical activity, and Iranian nationality (compared to non-Iranians), were associated with a low risk of positive FIT screening tests for CRC.


 A high number of high-risk persons in Mashhad were positive for the FIT test in 2018-2019, and many of them were diagnosed with CRC, according to the colonoscopy results. Therefore, screening is highly recommended as the first step in the early detection of CRC.


Colorectal cancer, Epidemiology, Fecal immunochemical test, Prevention, Screening

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