Previous research implies that colorectal cancer (CRC) screening may have an effect on lifestyle. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effect of CRC screening on self-perceived health and lifestyle among men and women within a randomized health-services study in Finland.
A random sample of 31951 Finnish men and women born in 1951 were randomized 1:1 for CRC screening for the first time in 2011. A random third received a questionnaire on lifestyle before and after screening in 2010 and 2012 (n = 10271). The current study population responded to the questionnaire on both years (n = 4895). Self-rated health (SRH), perceived healthiness of diet and perceived physical fitness were assessed with logistic and ordered logistic models using calendar time (2010, 2012), screening randomization and demographic characteristics as covariates.
SRH, healthiness of diet and physical fitness improved over time (OR 1.32, CI 1.17–1.48, OR 1.23, CI 1.08–1.41 and OR 1.44, CI 1.28–1.60, respectively). CRC screening invitation had no effect on these measures compared to controls (OR 0.91, CI 0.74–1.12, OR 0.95, CI 0.75–1.20 and OR 1.09, CI 0.87–1.37, respectively). Women reported better health than men. However, further analysis showed that the attender women reported weaker and the attender men better health than the corresponding control groups.
CRC screening did not have an effect on self-perceived health and lifestyle. However, the difference between men and women both in controls and in CRC screening attendees needs further research. The randomized setting enables us to generalize of the results to the whole screening target population.
Clinical trial identification
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All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.