Colonoscopies don't increase mortality rates pre-, postprocedure, study finds

While colonoscopies don't increase mortality rates pre- or postprocedure, they may increase unplanned hospitalizations, according to a study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Researchers examined 55- to 64-year-old adults in the Polish Colonoscopy Screening Program. Clinicians selected 338,477 patients to undergo a screening colonoscopy and matched them to a control group of 338,557 patients who were invited to come back in five years for a screening colonoscopy. Exactly 55,390 patients underwent the colonoscopy. Researchers compared mortality and hospitalization rates between the two cohorts both pre- and postprocedure.

There was no difference in mortality rate between the two cohorts, researchers found. However, unplanned hospitalization rates were higher in the colonoscopy group (2.39 percent) than in the control group (2.31 percent). Researchers noted the increase was because of the higher rate of hospitalizations postprocedure.

Researchers concluded, "We found high-quality evidence that colonoscopy as a screening intervention does not increase mortality before or after colonoscopy. However, it may be associated with a small but significant increase in unplanned hospitalizations, especially after the colonoscopy is completed."

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