Episode 138: A focus on young people with ulcerative colitis – do they take their treatment and what can GPs do to help?

In this episode, we talk to Dr Nish Jayasooriya, Research Fellow and specialist registrar in gastroenterology and hepatology.

Paper: Adherence to 5-aminosalicylic acid maintenance treatment in young people with ulcerative colitis: a retrospective cohort study in primary care

Available at:

Adolescents and young adults diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (UC) are recommended long- term maintenance treatment for disease control, but adherence rates in primary care are unknown. This observational cohort study using real-world data from primary care found one-quarter of newly diagnosed adolescents and young adults, aged 10–24 years, discontinued oral 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) maintenance treatment within 1 month of starting and two-thirds within 1year. Young adults aged 18–24years and those living in a deprived area were most likely to discontinue and have poor adherence to treatment. Having an acute flare-up of UC was linked to better adherence to oral 5-ASA maintenance treatment. The first year of starting lifelong therapies among individuals diagnosed with UC is a critical window to improve adherence for adolescents transitioning to young adulthood and those from deprived postcodes.


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