OBJECTIVES: Several large population studies assessing the yield of average risk screening colonoscopy have evaluated Veterans Affairs (VA) populations. It remains uncertain how generalizable these findings are to men in the general population. The aim of this study was to define the prevalence of advanced neoplasia in male patients undergoing screening colonoscopy in diverse practice settings. METHODS: The Clinical Outcomes Research Initiative (CORI) national endoscopic database was analyzed to compare the findings in men undergoing average risk screening colonoscopy in community, academic, and VA endoscopy settings. RESULTS: Between January, 1998, and May, 2002, a total of 9109 men underwent screening colonoscopy in community (5625), academic (2269), and VA (1215) settings. Overall yield of colonic lesions (mass or polyp >9 mm) on average risk colonoscopy was 5.1%; 5.7% (community), 3.4% (academic), and 5.9% (VA) in each site, respectively. Among patients with lesions identified, multiple lesions >9 mm were less common in academic settings (6.4%) compared to community (12.0%) or VA (8.9%) sites. When adjusting for age and ethnicity on multivariate analysis, colonic lesion detection at VA sites was similar to community settings. However, lesion identification was more likely in both settings (VA: OR = 1.72; community: OR = 1.56) compared to academic centers. CONCLUSIONS: Age- and race-adjusted prevalence of polyps >9 mm in men who receive screening colonoscopy was significantly lower in academic sites compared to VA and community practice sites. One must be cautious in generalizing the findings of male patient studies from academic centers to the entire population.
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