Background: Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) refers to a specific type of diabetes characterized by adult onset, presence of islet auto-antibodies, insulin independence at the time of diagnosis, and rapid decline in β-cell function. The prevalence of LADA among patients with type 2 diabetes varies from 2% to 20% according to the study population. Since most studies on the prevalence of LADA performed in Korea were conducted in patients who had been tested for anti-glutamic acid decarboxylase antibody (GADAb), a selection bias could not be excluded. In this study, we examined the prevalence and clinical characteristics of LADA among adult patients recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Methods: We included 462 patients who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within 5 years from the time this study was performed. We measured GADAb, fasting insulin level, fasting C-peptide level, fasting plasma glucose level, HbA1c, and serum lipid profiles and collected data on clinical characteristics.
Results: The prevalence of LADA was 4.3% (20/462) among adult patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Compared with the GADAb-negative patients, the GADAb-positive patients had lower fasting C-peptide levels (1.2±0.8 ng/mL vs. 2.0±1.2 ng/mL, P=0.004). Other metabolic features were not significantly different between the two groups.
Conclusion: The prevalence of LADA is 4.3% among Korean adult patients with recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes. The Korean LADA patients exhibited decreased insulin secretory capacity as reflected by lower C-peptide levels.
Keywords: Diabetes mellitus, type 1; Diabetes mellitus, type 2; Glutamate decarboxylase.