Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Trends of 5-Aminosalicylate Medication Use in Patients With Crohn Disease.

Noureldin M, Cohen-Mekelburg S, Mahmood A, Stidham R, Higgins PDR, Govani S, Deshpande AR, Waljee AK. Trends of 5-Aminosalicylate Medication Use in Patients With Crohn Disease. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. 2021 Mar 15; 27(4):516-521.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: 5-aminosalicylate (5-ASA) medications have a long history of use for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and continue to be widely prescribed today. The effectiveness of 5-ASAs in ulcerative colitis is clear; however, studies have shown little benefit for induction or maintenance treatment of Crohn disease (CD). We aimed to quantify usage and examine trends in 5-ASA prescription rates in patients with CD. METHODS: Using a retrospective design, we queried a national database of commercially insured patients (Truven-Health databases) between 2009 and 2014 to identify patients with CD aged 18 to 65 years. Prescription rates for 5-ASA medications including sulfasalazine, mesalamine, olsalazine, and balsalazide were calculated for each calendar year. Regression models were used to examine year-to-year trends in prescription rates and identify patient factors associated with 5-ASA use. RESULTS: We identified 132,804 patients with CD, of whom 37.3% (n = 49,529) received a 5-ASA prescription during the study period. From 2009 to 2014, the overall prescription rates of 5-ASAs declined from 42.9% to 30.0% (P < 0.001). Patient factors independently associated with 5-ASA use included younger age, male sex, multimorbidity, and a health maintenance organization insurance plan, while controlling for the region of residence. CONCLUSIONS: About 1 in 3 privately insured patients with CD received 5-ASA prescriptions despite their questionable effectiveness; however, in an encouraging trend, prescription rates significantly decreased from 2009 to 2014. This high prescription rate may reflect a gap in providers' knowledge regarding the available evidence-an opportunity for cost savings with improved health care delivery.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.