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In this research we used data from the UK Biobank cohort to test how well 14 previously published risk models are able to identify people in the UK who go on to develop bowel cancer. We found that the ability of the risk models to identify those who developed bowel cancer in the future varied substantially. In men, four models (the QCancer10 model and models by Tao, Driver and Ma) were reasonably good at being able to identify which people were more likely to be diagnosed with bowel cancer. The QCancer10, Wells, Tao and Ma models were the best performing in women but all were slightly less good than in men. When we compared the risk calculated by the models to the actual risk among the people in the UK Biobank cohort, the risk calculated by all the models was higher than the actual risk. The risk models would therefore need to be adjusted if they were going to be used to tell people their risk of developing bowel cancer.