Background: 5-Aminosalicylic acids (5-ASA) are effective for ulcerative colitis (UC) as a maintenance therapy. It is not clear when and how to reduce a dose of 5-ASA after inducing remission. We aimed to investigate the clinical characteristics and evaluate the risk factors of relapse for UC patients receiving 5-ASA. Methods: The medical records of prospectively registered UC patients who received oral 5-ASA as maintenance therapy between January and December 31, 2014, were investigated. The patients’ clinical characteristics in a 2-year follow-up were compared between a relapse group and a remission group. Results: Of 527 UC patients receiving only oral 5-ASA, 390 (74.0%) maintained remission and 137 (26.0%) relapsed during the follow-up period. Multivariable analysis indicated that a shorter duration of disease remission (p < 0.001, OR: 1.24, 95% CI: 1.12–1.38) was statistically significant for each comparison between the remission and relapse groups among all the patients. Risk factors for clinical relapse were a shorter duration of disease remission (p <0.001, OR: 1.17, 95% CI: 1.04–1.33) in the high-dose 5-ASA group and a shorter duration of disease remission (p = 0.003, OR: 1.45, 95% CI: 1.13–1.89) and a history of steroid use (p = 0.048, OR: 4.73, 95% CI: 1.01–22.2) in the low-dose group. Conclusions: A dose reduction of 5-ASA might be cautiously selected in UC patients with a history of steroid use and a shorter duration of disease remission.
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