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

BJGP Interviews

17-10-2023 • 14 mins

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: https://doi.org/10.3399/BJGP.2023.0006

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.