Adult non–insulin requiring diabetes includes latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA), distinguished from type 2 diabetes by the presence of islet autoantibodies. LADA China determined the characteristics of Chinese LADA. This nationwide, multicenter, clinic-based cross-sectional study was conducted in 46 university-affiliated hospitals in 25 Chinese cities. All 4,880 ketosis-free diabetic patients (<1 year postdiagnosis, without insulin therapy for >6 months, aged ≥30 years) had GAD antibody (GADA) and HLA-DQ genotype measured centrally with clinical data collected locally. GADA-positive subjects were classified as LADA. Of the patients, 5.9% were GADA positive with LADA. LADA showed a north-south gradient. Compared with GADA-negative type 2 diabetes, LADA patients were leaner, with lower fasting C-peptide and less metabolic syndrome. Patients with high GADA titers are phenotypically different from those with low GADA titers, while only a higher HDL distinguished the latter from those with type 2 diabetes. HLA diabetes–susceptible haplotypes were more frequent in LADA, even in those with low-titer GADA. HLA diabetes-protective haplotypes were less frequent in LADA. Our study implicates universal immunogenetic effects, with some ethnic differences, in adult-onset autoimmune diabetes. Autoantibody positivity and titer could be important for LADA risk stratification and accurate therapeutic choice in clinical practice.
- Received February 20, 2012.
- Accepted July 25, 2012.
- © 2013 by the American Diabetes Association.
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