Transfer from pediatric to adult health care: effects on diabetes outcomes

Pediatr Diabetes. 2014 Feb;15(1):10-7. doi: 10.1111/pedi.12106. Epub 2013 Dec 18.


The transfer from pediatric to adult diabetes health care for emerging adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D) has received increasing attention in the literature. This review analyzes the effect of this health care transfer on the outcomes of diabetes care visit attendance, glycemic control, and acute diabetes-related complications, and assesses the methodological strength of the studies reporting observational and interventional data. Observational studies, often limited by incomplete data, report a decline in diabetes care visits but an improvement or no change in hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) after transfer to adult care. Results from studies reporting a transition intervention are restricted by lack of appropriate control groups and the collection of data both before and after transfer of care. Very few methodologically strong studies are available to guide clinicians with the transition from pediatric to adult care, and these shortcomings should be addressed in future studies designed to facilitate and improve the care of emerging adults with T1D.

Keywords: diabetes mellitus; transition to adult care; young adult.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / analysis
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Pediatrics
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Transition to Adult Care*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human