The aim of this study was to investigate the association of colorectal polyps with carcinoma of the colon and rectum. METHODS: Between January 1995 and December 1998, 203 consecutive patients with 423 colorectal polyps retrospectively documented at the Department of General Surgery and College of Medicine in Dongguk University. RESULTS: The peak age group of the colorectal polyp was in the fifth decades (33.5%). The proportions of malignant polyps were as follows: for size, 5.2% of polyps less than 1.0 cm and 19.5% of polyps larger than 1 cm (P<0.05); for morphology, 2.6% in polyps of Yamada type I, II and 18.5% in polyps of Yamada type III, IV (P<0.05); for location, 13.4% of the polyps located in rectum and sigmoid colon and 7.6% of the polyps located in descending to ascending colon (P>0.05); for number of polyp, 4.5% in cases of single polyp and 25.0% in cases of multiple polyps (P<0.05); for underlying histology, 9.2% in cases of tubular adenoma and 19.2% in cases of villous adenoma (p<0.05). The presence of distal adenomatous polyp was increased the risk of presence of the proximal adenomas (59.7%), whereas the presence of hyperplastic polyp did not (16.7%). CONCLUSIONS: The malignant potential of colorectal polyps are correlated with size, histologic type, morphologic shape, multiplicity and distal location. The presence of hyperpalstic polyp should not be indication for colonoscopy because they are not associated with proximal adenoma when adjusting for patient characteristics and presence of distal adenoma.