Doctors standing in hospital

GI Societies Respond to Northern European Colonoscopy Study

By Susan Scerbo, Olympus’ Senior Manager, Public Relations

Study results from the Northern-European Initiative (NEI) on Colorectal Cancer (NordICC) trial, which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) on Sunday, October 9th, fueled a lot of debate among physicians and patients about the benefits of colonoscopies in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening.

Some attention-grabbing headlines, appearing in the days following the study’s release, caused a lot of confusion about the research findings. This is because the research article reported that colonoscopy led to a reduction in CRC risk of only 18% over 10 years for those in the study cohort who were invited for a screening colonoscopy, not for those in the study cohort who had a screening colonoscopy.1 Of the more than 28,000 people invited to undergo a screening colonoscopy, only about 12,000, or 42%, had one. The study finds that those who were invited for and had a screening colonoscopy saw a reduction in CRC incidence by 31% and death by 50%, respectively, rates that are like those in other studies, according to an NEJM editorial accompanying the published study results.2

Gastroenterologists and gastroenterology societies responded swiftly and unequivocally to the media coverage. Their response: having a colonoscopy performed according to clinical guidelines remains the recommended screening method for CRC.3 Colonoscopies can detect and prevent disease because the detection and removal of polyps prevents future cancers.4 

Click the links below to view the specific responses from several GI societies: 
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) shared Colonoscopy remains best and proven way to detect and prevent colorectal cancer and colorectal cancer deaths. (Released Oct. 10, 2022)
American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) published Nordic CRC study: 3 things to know + talking points for patients. (Released Oct. 11, 2022) 
American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) offered a statement in the form of a Letter to the Editor at CNN in reaction to the article. (Released Oct. 10, 2022)

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends CRC screening for healthy adults beginning at age 45. For more information about colonoscopy, visit


1.    NordICC Study Group, et. al. The New England Journal of Medicine. Effect of Colonoscopy Screening on Risks of Colorectal Cancer and Related Death. 2022.
2.    Dominitz, Jason A. Robertson, Douglas J. The New England Journal of Medicine. Understanding the Results of a Randomized Trial of Screening Colonoscopy. 2022. 
3.    ASGE. Colonoscopy Remains Best and Proven Way to Detect and Prevent Colorectal Cancer and Colorectal Cancer Deaths. 2022.
4.    American Gastroenterological Association (AGA). Nordic CRC Study: 3 Things To Know + Talking Points for Patients. 2022.

Colorectal Cancer AwarenessCorporate Social ResponsibilityAwarenessGI

Suggested Blog Posts