Background: The study aimed to estimate the prevalence of unrecognized cases with positive autoantibodies among type 2 diabetes (T2D) in a sample of the Bulgarian population and to compare some metabolic and inflammatory markers to those of patients having negative autoantibodies and subjects with latent autoimmune diabetes (LADA).
Methods: Patients with T2D, patients with LADA, and control participants were enrolled. Antiglutamic acid decarboxylase, anti-insulinoma-associated 2, and antizinc transporter 8 autoantibodies were assayed through ELISA. C-reactive protein and interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha were assessed.
Results: Ten percent of patients with T2D had positive autoantibodies. They had lower body mass index (p = 0.014), worse glycemic control (HbA1c, p = 0.033), and better HDL cholesterol (p = 0.026) than those in negative autoantibodies cases. Compared to LADA, glycemia and anthropometric data did not differ significantly but metabolic syndrome was more prevalent among newly found cases with positive autoantibodies (p = 0.046). Their level of inflammatory markers was similar to that of patients having negative autoantibodies (p > 0.05), but IL-6 was higher when compared to LADA (p = 0.002).
Conclusion: Prevalence of patients having positive autoantibodies within T2D in the analyzed sample of the Bulgarian population was 10%. They shared common metabolic features with subjects with LADA, but inflammatory phenotype was closer to that of T2D.