Publication date: Sep 20, 2023
Survival from colorectal cancer depends on stage at detection. In England, bowel cancer mortality has historically been highest in deprived areas. During the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was necessary to temporarily halt many screening programmes, which may have led to inequalities in uptake since screening restarted. Cross-sectional data from the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Systemwide Dataset were analyzed. Associations of baseline characteristics with uptake of bowel screening were examined using logistic regression. Amongst 86 850 eligible adults aged 60-74 years, 5261 had no screening record. There was little evidence of association between no screening and sex (adjusted odds ratio 0. 95 (95% confidence interval 0. 90, 1. 02)). Absence of screening record was associated with deprivation (1. 26 (1. 14, 1. 40) for the most compared with the least deprived groups), smoking (1. 11 (1. 04, 1. 18)) compared with no smoking record and black (1. 36 (1. 09, 1. 70)) and mixed (1. 08 (1. 01, 1. 15)) ethnicity compared with white ethnicity. In a data set covering a whole NHS Integrated Care Board, there was evidence of lower uptake of bowel cancer screening in adults living in more deprived areas, of minority ethnic groups and who smoked. These findings may help focus community engagement work and inform research aimed at reducing inequalities.