Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) is a slowly developing form of autoimmune diabetes characterized by the presence of type 1 diabetes-associated autoantibody. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence and characteristics of LADA in a population-based cohort of Polish patients with newly-diagnosed diabetes.
Material and methods
The study cohort was taken from the resident population of the city Białystok, Poland, during the period 1 January to 31 December 2003, aged 20-64 years. During this period we identified 231 cases of diabetes. We measured glutamic acid decarboxylase (GADA) and insulin antibody (IAA), insulin, C peptide and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c). Diagnosis of LADA was made according to Immunology Diabetes Society and Action LADA criteria.
The incidence of LADA was 10 per year per 100 000 people. The proportion of patients with LADA was 8.9% among newly diagnosed cases with diabetes. Patients with LADA were younger at diagnosis (48.5 ±9.4 years vs. 54.8 ±10.6 years, p < 0.01), had lower body mass index (26.9 ±9.3 kg/m2 vs. 29.5 ±5.2 kg/m2, p < 0.05), C peptide (126 ±127 pmol/l vs. 446 ±592 pmol/l, p < 0.001), and were less insulin resistant (HOMA IR 0.94 ±0.85 vs. 3.6±4.4, p < 0.001) compared to patients with type 2 diabetes. Glycated hemoglobin and fasting glucose were similar in patients with LADA and type 2 diabetes.
In addition to GAD, anti-insulin antibodies are useful for diagnosing autoimmune diabetes in adults. Patients with LADA have similar glucose control parameters (HbA1c) compared to patients with type 2 diabetes, although they are usually younger and have a lower body mass index. Patients with LADA make up a significant proportion of newly diagnosed people with diabetes mellitus in a Polish population.