Unintentional weight loss as the sole indication for colonoscopy is rarely associated with colorectal cancer

Ian J. Davis, Shannon J. Marek, Subbaramiah Sridhar, Thad Wilkins, Sherman M. Chamberlain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction: Weight loss is a commonly used indication for colonoscopy. Methods: This is a prospective case study of colonoscopies from 1998 to 2009. Descriptive statistics were used to evaluate age, sex, colonoscopy indications, and findings. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to determine the odds of colorectal cancer (CRC) based on age, sex, and weight loss. Results: We reviewed 6425 colonoscopies. The mean age of patients was 57.4 years (SD, ±13.5 years), and 55% of patients were women. One hundred thirty-six (2.1%) of these had unintentional weight loss; for 32 patients (0.4%), unintentional weight loss was the only indication for the procedure. CRC was diagnosed in 116 patients (1.8%), but CRC was not detected in any patients for whom unintentional weight loss as the only indication for colonoscopy. Conclusion: Based on our prospective case study, unintentional weight loss alone was not associated with CRC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-219
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2011



  • Colonoscopy
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Colorectal cancer detection
  • Colorectal cancer symptoms
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Family Practice

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