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PURPOSE: Patients with inherited metabolic disorders (IMDs) now have improved health outcomes and increased survival into adulthood. There is scant evidence on managing adults with IMDs. We present an analysis of current care practices for adults with IMDs in the United States.
METHODS: We created and distributed an online survey to US members of the Society of Inherited Metabolic Disorders. The survey addressed ambulatory care, acute management, and health care transition (HCT) practices of adults with IMDs.
RESULTS: The survey was completed by 91 providers from 73 institutions. Most adult patients with IMDs receive lifelong care from a single metabolic clinician, predominantly in pediatric clinic settings. Adults receive comprehensive ambulatory metabolic care, but fewer trainees participate compared with pediatric visits. Most acute IMD management occurs in pediatric hospitals. Clinician comfort with HCT increased the frequency of HCT planning. Overall, all respondents felt that providing specialized care to adults with IMDs is high value.
CONCLUSION: Our survey demonstrates the paucity of clinical resources dedicated to adult metabolic medicine. Care is fragmented and varies by medical system. Interest in HCT is robust but would benefit from standardized practices. Our findings reinforce the need for greater focus on adult metabolic medicine in the United States.