CCFA survey finds the majority of ulcerative colitis patients are not compliant with medications

December 19, 2006

New York, NY - December 18, 2006 - A new, large survey supported by the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) finds that 65 percent of ulcerative colitis (UC) patients are less than fully compliant with first-line therapies to treat their disease. The findings are significant because an earlier study found that patients less than fully compliant experience five times the number of disease flare-ups.

Respondents to the CCFA survey were taking a variety of aminosalicylates, medications which help relieve symptoms and inflammation for many UC sufferers, but which require multiple pills be taken two to four times a day. CCFA conducted the survey to gain a better understanding of patients' experiences with UC and these medications.

The most commonly reported reasons for non-compliance with medications were the dosing frequency, the number of pills and the inconvenience associated with the medication. Seventy-four percent of the 1,595 UC sufferers included in the survey experienced at least one flare-up of UC during the previous year. Flare-ups can involve heightened symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fatigue as well as complications such as anemia.

"The study shows that many patients struggle to comply with their current medication regimen because they have to take multiple pills throughout the day," said the survey report's author Edward V. Loftus, Jr., a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. "And we know that when UC patients don't take their medications as prescribed, it can have a significant impact on their health and quality of life."

In addition to poor compliance with medication, the survey evaluated overall quality of life for those living with UC - 60 percent reported loss of bowel control, 49 percent reported decreased energy levels, 46 percent reported spending less time away from home and 37 percent reported involvement in fewer social activities.

"Lack of compliance with medication is a major challenge across a variety of disease states and has a huge impact on Americans' health and the cost of healthcare in our country," said Jonathan Braun, MD, PhD, chair of CCFA's National Scientific Advisory Committee. "The introduction of new treatments with more convenient dosing regimens will be an important step in helping UC patients to remain compliant with their medication, lower the frequency of flares and improve their quality of life," he added.
The survey findings were recently presented at the Advances in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases conference in early December, and were published in the December 2006 issue of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, the official journal of CCFA.

About Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are painful, medically incurable illnesses that attack the digestive system. Crohn's disease may attack anywhere from the mouth to the anus, while ulcerative colitis inflames the large intestine (colon) only. Symptoms may include persistent diarrhea, abdominal pain or cramps, rectal bleeding, fever, and weight loss. Many patients require hospitalization and surgery. These illnesses can cause severe complications, including colon cancer in patients with long-term disease. Some 1.4 million American adults and children suffer from Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, with as many as 150,000 under the age of 18. Most people develop the diseases between the ages of 15 and 35.

About CCFA

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America's (CCFA) mission is to cure and prevent Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis through research, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these digestive diseases through education and support. More than 80 cents of every dollar the Foundation spends goes to mission-critical programs. CCFA consistently meets the standards of organizations that monitor charities, including the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance ( and the American Institute of Philanthropy ( For more information, contact CCFA at 800-932-2423 or visit

This survey was supported by CCFA. Funding for writing support was provided in an unrestricted grant by Shire Pharmaceuticals Inc, PA, USA.

GolinHarris International

Related Ulcerative Colitis Articles from Brightsurf:

Researchers identify enzyme linked to colitis
An enzyme that usually stops bacterial growth in the large intestine stimulates inflammation in some people, resulting in ulcerative colitis - a chronic digestive disease.

Using artificial intelligence to assess ulcerative colitis
Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) have developed an artificial intelligence system with a deep neural network that can effectively evaluate endoscopic data from patients with ulcerative colitis, which is a type of inflammatory bowel disease, without the need for biopsy collection.

Stanford scientists link ulcerative colitis to missing gut microbes
About 1 million people in the United States have ulcerative colitis, a serious disease of the colon that has no cure and whose cause is obscure.

New AGA guideline outlines treatment best practices for ulcerative colitis patients
An increasing number of drugs are available for long-term management of moderate to severe UC, leading to questions about treatment strategies for optimal patient care.

Colorectal cancer risk remains despite modern treatment for ulcerative colitis
Patients with the inflammatory bowel disease ulcerative colitis have a higher risk of dying from colorectal cancer, despite modern therapy, even though the risk has declined in recent years.

Drug decreases gut leakiness associated with ulcerative colitis
A research team led by biomedical scientists at the University of California, Riverside, has found that a drug approved by the FDA to treat rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis can repair permeability defects in the gut's epithelium.

Scientists are developing a way to counter ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a long-term condition that results in inflammation and ulcers of the colon and rectum.

Walnuts show protection against ulcerative colitis in early study
Through their complex array of natural compounds and phytochemicals, walnuts provide a multitude of health benefits.

The impacts of smoking on patients with ulcerative colitis
Because smokers are less likely to develop ulcerative colitis (UC), a type of inflammatory bowel disease, patients with UC may be tempted to start smoking to lessen their symptoms.

New method divides patients with ulcerative colitis in groups
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have found a way of using gene expression conserved across species to divide patients with the inflammatory bowel disease ulcerative colitis into two distinct groups.

Read More: Ulcerative Colitis News and Ulcerative Colitis Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to