Adolescents diagnosed with type 1 diabetes
need to transition from pediatric to adult diabetes care as they move into early adulthood.
The study, “Transition from Pediatric to Adult Care for Youth Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in Adolescence,” in the April 2013 issue of Pediatrics (published online March 25) followed 185 teens diagnosed with type 1 diabetes enrolled in the multi-center SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study, which has tracked children and young adults with diabetes from six centers across the U.S. since 2002.
The cohort of youth studied included 185 adolescent and young adults with type 1 diabetes enrolled in the study in the year after their diabetes was diagnosed. Youth included in these analyses were cared for by pediatric diabetes physicians at the time of their initial study visit and were followed for an average of 4.5 years. By the follow-up visit, 57 percent had transferred to adult diabetes care providers. However, the study showed that for young adults who changed to adult providers, the odds of poor glycemic control were 2.5 times higher than for those who stayed with their pediatric provider. In this study, insurance status did not impact the change in providers or glycemic control during transition to adult care. There was no difference between those privately or non-privately insured.
The authors conclude that more research is needed to explore why glycemic control deteriorates in late adolescence
and young adulthood
and if changes in the timing of transfer from pediatric to adult care can prevent this outcome. They also noted that young adults need additional support, for some time beyond the transfer to an adult provider, to maximize their health outcomes and avoid poor glycemic control.