Objective: To study the prevalence of diabetes mellitus and islet autoantibodies in an adult population from Southern Spain.
Research and methods: A cross-sectional study in Southern Spain of 1226 people, age 18-65 years. Clinical data were obtained and a blood sample taken to measure autoantibodies (glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies (GADAb), tyrosine phosphatase antibodies (IA2Ab), and insulin antibodies (IAA)). An oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was also given to 982 of the subjects.
Results: The overall prevalence of diabetes mellitus according to the WHO 1979 criteria was 10.9% and according to the ADA 1997 criteria it was 14.7% (8.8% were unaware of their diabetes). The prevalence of impaired fasting glucose (IFG) was 12.4% and of impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) 11.5%. The prevalence of GADAb+ in the general population was 0.9% and in the diabetic population 3.7%. There were no significant differences between groups in the prevalence of IA2Ab or IAA (both were 0.8% in the general population). Of the three autoantibodies studied, only GADAb were significantly different in the diabetic population (P=0.0006).
Conclusions: The prevalence of Type 2 diabetes and LADA are high in the south of Spain.