Youth with diabetes have tough transition

March 27, 2013 at 12:10 AM
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LOS ANGELES, March 27 (UPI) -- Youth with type 1 diabetes are at greater risk during their transition from pediatric care to adult care, U.S. researchers suggest.

Lead author Dr. Debra Lotstein, an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA, said as children with type 1 diabetes grow into young adults, they leave their pediatric healthcare providers for adult providers.

The study, scheduled to be published in the April issue in the journal Pediatrics, found young people -- median age 20.1 -- with type 1 diabetes who had transitioned from pediatric to adult care were 2.5 times more likely to have chronically high blood glucose levels, putting them at higher risk for heart attacks, strokes, blindness and kidney failure later in life.

"The transition to adulthood can include changes in healthcare providers, insurance and often living situations as patients move from high school to college or work," Lotstein said in a statement.

"These transitions can be challenging for anyone, but youth with a chronic health problem like diabetes are at risk of losing the support of their health care providers and their family that helps them stay healthy."

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