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Horm Metab Res. 1999 May;31(5):311-6.

Clinical characteristics, and time course of pancreatic beta-cell function and glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies in Thai patients with adult-onset Type 1 diabetes: distinction between patients of rapid- and slow-onset.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand.


In order to study the clinical characteristics, time course of beta cell function and glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies (GAD65Ab) in Thai patients with adult-onset Type 1 diabetes and to examine the distinctive features between patients with rapid-and slow-onset, 61 Thai patients with Type 1 diabetes who had age of disease onset at or after 20 years were studied. All patients were treated with insulin at the time of study and had fasting C-peptide levels +/-0.33 nmol/l. Twenty-six (42.6%) were in rapid-onset and 35 (57.4%) were in slow-onset groups. Fourty-four of 61 (70.5%) were male. About three-fourths had body mass index (BMI) < 19 kg/m2 at the time of insulin therapy. Only 7 of 61 (11.5%) patients had ketoacidosis at first presentation. Five patients had associated autoimmune thyroid disease and 10 (16.7%) patients had family history of diabetes in first-degree relatives. GAD65Ab was positive in 31 patients (50.8%); 10 (38.5%) were in rapid-onset and 21 (60.0%) were in slow-onset groups. GAD65Ab particularly of high levels were persistently elevated during 3-4 years follow-up period. The persistence of GAD65Ab were not associated with changes in fasting C-peptide levels. At the time of insulin dependency, there were no distinctive clinical features between rapid- and slow-onset patients except higher fasting C-peptide (0.08+/-0.08 vs. 0.14+/-0.10 nmol/l; p = 0.023) and GAD65Ab levels (19.6+/-17.4 vs. 46.1+/-49.7 U/ml; p = 0.036) in slow-onset patients. Fasting C-peptide levels of patients in the latter group were also demonstrated to be higher after 3-4 years of follow-up. In conclusion, most Thai patients with adult-onset Type 1 diabetes in this study were male and had significant degree of weight loss and lean BMI prior to insulin therapy. The presence of GAD65Ab did not predict clinical features or rate of beta cell loss. Patients in rapid-onset group had lower fasting C-peptide and GAD65Ab levels than those of slow-onset group which confirms the slower process of beta cell failure in the latter.

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