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Keller SC, Momplaisir F, Lo Re V, Newcomb C, Liu Q, Ratcliffe SJ, Long JA. Colorectal cancer incidence and screening in US Medicaid patients with and without HIV infection. AIDS Care. 2013 Nov 5; 26(6):716-22.
Non-AIDS defining malignancies, particularly colorectal cancer (CRC), may be more prevalent among persons living with HIV (PLWH). Further, PLWH may be less likely to receive CRC screening (CRCS). We studied the epidemiology of CRC and CRCS patterns in PLWH and HIV-uninfected persons in a large US Medicaid population. We performed a matched cohort study examining CRC incidence in 2006 and CRCS between 1999 and 2007. Study participants were continuously enrolled in the Medicaid programs of California, Florida, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. All PLWH enrollees were matched to five randomly sampled HIV-uninfected enrollees on 5-year age group, gender, and state. Adjusted odds ratios (AORs) for incident CRC (adjusted for comorbidity index) and the presence of CRCS (adjusted for comorbidity index and years in the data-set) among PLWH compared to HIV-uninfected enrollees were calculated. PLWH were not more likely to be diagnosed with CRC after adjusting for comorbidity index (unadjusted OR: 1.73, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.37-2.19; AOR 1.29; 95% CI: 0.98-1.70). While CRCS rates were low overall, PLWH were more likely to have received CRCS in unadjusted analyses (35.8% vs. 33.7%; OR 1.10, 95% CI: 1.07-1.13). This relationship was reversed after adjusting for comorbidity index and years in the data-set (AOR: 0.80, 95% CI: 0.77-0.83). Limitations of the study include a focus on the Medicaid population, an inability to detect fecal occult blood tests (FOBT), and having half of patients between 50 and 55 years of age. In conclusion, PLWH were not more likely to be diagnosed with CRC, but in adjusted analyses, were less likely to have received CRCS. As we showed a low rate of CRCS overall in this Medicaid population, researchers, clinicians, and policy-makers should improve access to and uptake of CRCS among all Medicaid patients, and particularly among PLWH.