Comorbid conditions delay diagnosis of colorectal cancer: a cohort study using electronic primary care records

This new study from the British Journal of Cancer is the first to investigate the impact of the burden from morbidity on the diagnostic interval of cancer. Using data from the largest primary care database in the world the associations between diagnostic interval, demographics and number of conditions was evaluated. The records of over 4500 colorectal patients were used to show a clear association between increasing comorbidity and a longer time to diagnosis. The clinically signficant results found that this longer time to diagnosis was particularly found in those aged 80 years or more. For patients with a single competing condition the time to diagnosis increased by 13% but jumped to 41% for those with four of more competing conditions.

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