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Diabetes Care. 1999 Aug;22(8):1347-53.

Chronic complications in patients with slowly progressing autoimmune type 1 diabetes (LADA).

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Jakobstad Hospital, Finland.



To study the prevalence of chronic diabetic complications in patients with the slowly progressing autoimmune form of type 1 diabetes, also referred to as latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA).


We evaluated factors associated with chronic diabetic complications in 59 patients with GAD antibodies (GADAs) and age at onset of diabetes >35 years and in 59 GADA-negative type 2 diabetic patients. The prevalence of chronic complications was further compared with the prevalence in 111 type 1 diabetic patients.


The LADA patients had lower BMI (P = 0.04), waist-to-hip ratio (P = 0.02 for men and P = 0.03 for women), and fasting C-peptide concentrations (P<0.001) higher HDL2 concentrations (P = 0.04), and less hypertension (58 vs. 75%, P = 0.05) than the type 2 diabetic patients. These differences were even more marked in patients with short disease duration. The prevalence of retinopathy (51 vs. 56%), neuropathy (29 vs. 27%), and microalbuminuria (27 vs. 29%) did not differ between the groups. The type 1 diabetic patients had lower prevalence of neuropathy (13%, P = 0.02) and higher prevalence of retinopathy (76%, P = 0.002) compared with the other groups. Neither the prevalence of coronary heart disease (CHD) (56 vs. 58%) nor cardiovascular mortality (7.4 vs. 12.4%, P = 0.2) significantly differed between the LADA and type 2 diabetic patients. In a multiple logistic regression analysis, glycemic control was associated with CHD (P = 0.02) in the LADA group but not in the type 2 diabetic group.


Glycemic control is a stronger risk factor for cardiovascular disease in LADA patients than in patients with type 2 diabetes. This could be related to the lower prevalence of the metabolic syndrome seen in the former.

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