Death rates from colorectal cancer for adults ages 20 to 54 are increasing by 1 percent each year, according to a new study — a rise that appears to be driven by an increase in the number of younger white adults getting and dying from the disease.
Researchers from the American Cancer Society analyzed demographic trends from 1970 and 2014 and noted that the increase in death rates was confined to white individuals ages 30 to 39 (since 1995) and 40 to 54 (since 2005). The results were published in The Journal of the American Medical Association today.
In contrast, black individuals had death rates from this cancer that declined from 0.4 percent to 1.1 percent annually, on average.
COMMENTS: It is important to note that the mortality rates in 2014 for the two populations differ at baseline. For white individuals, the colorectal cancer mortality rate in 2014 was 4.1 percent; for black individuals, it was 6.1 percent. The mortality rate from colorectal cancer is still higher for black individuals, despite changing rates for the populations. Researchers did not study the reasons behind this discrepancy. Causes of death were generated from death certificate data.