Clinical and metabolic characteristics of patients with latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA): absence of rapid beta-cell loss in patients with tight metabolic control.Diabetes Metab 2010; 36(1):64-70DM
AIM AND METHODS
The present study compared the clinical and metabolic characteristics of latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) with type 2 diabetes, as well as the residual beta-cell function and progression to insulin treatment, over a 2-year follow-up period, of antibody (Ab)-positive and Ab-negative patients who achieved tight glycaemic control (HbA(1c) 7.0+/-0.8% and 6.5+/-0.9%, respectively, at the time of entry into the study).
Glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies (GADA) and/or islet cell antibodies (ICA) were detected in 10% of patients presenting with non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Around half of Ab-positive patients required insulin treatment during the follow-up. Ab-positive patients displayed lower stimulated C-peptide levels both at entry and during the follow-up compared with Ab-negative patients, although no significant decline in C-peptide levels was observed in either subgroup over two years. Nevertheless, Ab-positive patients progressed more frequently to insulin treatment, and stimulated C-peptide tended to decrease in LADA patients who subsequently required insulin, whereas it remained stable in those who were non-insulin-dependent. In those who progressed, the trend towards C-peptide decline persisted even after starting insulin treatment.
LADA patients demonstrate lower residual beta-cell function than do type 2 diabetes patients. However, those who achieve tight metabolic control do not present with a rapid decline in beta-cell function. Further studies are needed to determine the optimal treatment strategy in such patients.