Objective: Islet immunity and beta cell reserve status were utilized to classify persons with ketoacidosis as the initial manifestation of diabetes. The clinical features of the various diabetes classes were also characterized.
Design: Prospective cross sectional study.
Setting: Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital, Mthatha, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.
Patients: Indigenous Black South Africans with ketoacidosis as the initial manifestation of diabetes.
Interventions: Islet immunity and beta cell reserve were respectively assessed using serum anti-glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 (GAD) antibody and serum C-peptide after 1 mg of intravenous glucagon.
Outcome measures: Serum anti-GAD 65 antibody > or = 5 units/L and < 5 units/L, respectively defined anti-GAD 65 positive (A+) and negative (A-). Replete (beta+) and deplete (beta-) beta cell reserve were serum C-peptide after glucagon injection of > or = 0.5 ng/mL and < 0.5 ng/mL, respectively. The proportions of patients with A+beta-, A+beta+, A-beta- and A-beta+ and their clinical characteristics were determined.
Results: Of the 38 males and 33 females who participated in the study, patients were categorized in various classes: A-beta+, 46.5% (n=33/ 71); A-beta-, 26.8% (n=19/71); A+beta-, 22.5% (n=16/71); and A+beta+, 4.2% (n=3/71). The ages of the various classes were: 41.8 +/- 13.8 years for A-beta+ (n=33); 36.5 +/- 14.6 years for A-beta- (n=19); and 20.6 +/- 7.1 years for the combination of A+beta- with A+beta+ (n=19) (P<.0001, P<.0001 for the combination of A+beta- and A+beta+ vs A-beta+, P=.001 for the combination of A+beta- and A+beta+ vs A-beta-and P=.2 for A-beta- vs A-beta+. The clinical features of type 2 diabetes were most prevalent in A-beta+ class while the A+beta- and A+beta+ groups had the clinical profile of type 1A diabetes.
Conclusions: Most of the indigenous Black South African patients with ketoacidosis as the initial manifestation of diabetes had islet immunity, beta cell reserve status and clinical profiles of type 2 diabetes.