Prevalence of diabetes-specific autoantibodies in patients at risk for adult onset diabetes mellitus

Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 1998;106(2):113-6. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1211961.


To evaluate the potential of autoimmune markers in identifying patients with slowly progressive IDDM in the prediabetic state, we screened a population of 151 patients aged 37-70 years with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) for the presence of islet cell antibodies (ICA), insulin autoantibodies (IAA), antibodies to glutamic acid decarboxylase (GADA), and antibodies to tyrosine phosphatase IA-2 (IA-2A). Autoantibodies were found in 5 (3.3%) patients with IGT suggesting the presence of an autoimmune-mediated beta cell destruction. All of them were positive for high level ICA (> 20 JDF-U) and 1 ICA positive subject had additional GADA (100 GADA-U). In contrast, none of the subjects had IA-2A or IAA. We here demonstrate a low prevalence of autoimmune diabetes among middle-aged subjects with IGT. ICA and GADA but not IA-2A or IAA may represent autoimmune markers for slowly progressive IDDM before the manifestation of the disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Body Mass Index
  • C-Peptide / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / immunology*
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Glucose Intolerance / blood
  • Glucose Intolerance / epidemiology
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / immunology
  • Humans
  • Insulin / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors


  • Autoantibodies
  • C-Peptide
  • Insulin
  • islet cell antibody
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase