Positive fecal immunochemical test results are associated with non-colorectal cancer mortality

Yoon Suk Jung, Jinhee Lee, Chang Mo Moon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background/Aims: Studies have reported an association between fecal occult blood and increased all-cause, non-colorectal cancer (CRC) as well as CRC mortality. This study aimed to determine whether positive fecal immunochemistry test (FIT) results are associated with death from various causes in the South Korean population. Methods: Using the Korean National Cancer Screening Program database, we collected data on patients who underwent FIT between 2009 and 2011. Results: Of the 5,932,544 participants, 380,789 (6.4%) had positive FIT results. FIT-positive participants had a higher mortality rate than FIT-negative participants from CRC (1.33 and 0.21 per 1,000 person-years, p < 0.001, respectively) and nonCRC causes (10.40 and 7.50 per 1,000 person-years, p < 0.001, respectively). Despite adjusting for age, sex, smoking status, alcohol consumption habits, body mass index, comorbidity, and aspirin use, FIT positivity was associated with an increased risk of dying from all non-CRC causes (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.17; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.15 to 1.18) and CRC (aHR, 5.61; 95% CI, 5.40 to 5.84). Additionally, FIT positivity was significantly associated with increased mortality from circulatory disease (aHR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.11 to 1.17), respiratory disease (aHR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.09 to 1.19), digestive disease (aHR, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.48 to 1.66), neuropsychological disease (aHR, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.16), blood and endocrine diseases (aHR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.17), and external factors (aHR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.11 to 1.20). Conclusions: Positive FIT results are associated with an increased risk of mortality from CRC and various other chronic diseases, suggesting that it could be a predictor of mortality independent of its association with CRC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-321
Number of pages9
JournalKorean Journal of Internal Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Korean Association of Internal Medicine.


  • Colorectal neoplasms
  • Fecal immunochemical test
  • Mortality


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