Immune-mediated thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (iTTP) is a rare, life-threatening thrombotic microangiopathy caused by severe ADAMTS13 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs 13) deficiency, recurring in 30-50% of patients. The common human leukocyte antigen (HLA) variant rs6903608 was found to be associated with prevalent iTTP, but whether this variant is associated with disease relapse is unknown. To estimate the impact of rs6903608 on iTTP onset and relapse, we performed a case-control and cohort study in 161 Italian patients with a first iTTP episode between 2002 and 2018, and in 456 Italian controls. Variation in rs6903608 was strongly associated with iTTP onset (homozygotes odds ratio (OR) 4.68 (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.67 to 8.23); heterozygotes OR 1.64 (95%CI 0.95 to 2.83)), which occurred over three years earlier for each extra risk allele (β -3.34, 95%CI -6.69 to 0.02). Of 153 survivors (median follow-up 4.9 years (95%CI 3.7 to 6.1)), 44 (29%) relapsed. The risk allele homozygotes had a 46% (95%CI 36 to 57%) absolute risk of relapse by year 6, which was significantly higher than both heterozygotes (22% (95%CI 16 to 29%)) and reference allele homozygotes (30% (95%CI 23 to 39%)). In conclusion, HLA variant rs6903608 is a risk factor for both iTTP onset and relapse. This newly identified biomarker may help with recognizing patients at high risk of relapse, who would benefit from close monitoring or intensified immunosuppressive therapy.