In a case-control study of urinalysis screening in the prevention of death from bladder cancer, hematuria was present in a higher proportion of cases than controls as long as five or six years before the diagnostic evaluation that led to the diagnosis of bladder cancer. In a separate cohort study data base that permitted the follow-up of 1046 persons with a physician's diagnosis of hematuria, 11 cases of bladder cancer were diagnosed more than two (mean 7.4) years after the hematuria diagnosis (4.3 cases expected; age-sex standardized morbidity ratio, 2.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.3-4.5). Bladder cancer was ruled out initially by cystoscopy in 8 of the 11 cases. Although we cannot be certain that preexisting bladder cancer or bladder cancer risk factors did not cause the bleeding, we hypothesize that hematuria can be a predictor as well as a manifestation of bladder cancer, based on a tendency for bladder mucosa with premalignant changes to bleed. The implications for screening and clinical practice remain to be determined.

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