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Glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies (GADA) is the most important factor for prediction of insulin therapy within 3 years in young adult diabetic patients not classified as Type 1 diabetes on clinical grounds

  • Carina Törn
  • Mona Landin-Olsson
  • Jan Östman
  • Bengt Scherstén
  • Hans Arnqvist
  • Göran Blohmé
  • Elisabeth Björk
  • Jan Bolinder
  • Jan Eriksson
  • Bengt Littorin
  • Lennarth Nyström
  • Göran Sundkvist
  • Åke Lernmark
Publishing year: 2000
Language: English
Pages: 442-447
Publication/Series: Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews
Volume: 16
Issue: 6
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

Abstract english

Background Differentiation between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in adults is difficult at diagnosis. In this study we tested the hypothesis that autoantibodies at diagnosis are predictive for insulin treatment within 3 years in patients initially not classified as Type 1 diabetes. Methods In a nationwide population-based study, blood samples were obtained from 764 patients, all diagnosed with diabetes during a 2-year period. At diagnosis, 583 (76%) were classified as Type 1, 110 (14%) as Type 2 and 71 (9.3%) could not be classified. Results Among patients not classified as Type 1 diabetes, 52 (47%) of Type 2 and 42 (59%) of unclassified patients were positive for islet cell antibodies CICA), glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies (GADA) or tyrosine phosphatase antibodies (IA-2A). These patients (n=94) had lower body mass index (BMI) (p<0.001) and lower C-peptide (p<0.001) compared to the autoantibody negative patients (n=87). Compared to clinically classified Type 1 diabetes patients positive for autoantibodies (n=477), they have higher BMI (p<0.001), higher C-peptide (p<0.001) and the same levels of ICA, GADA and IA-2A. After 3 years, 93% of autoantibody positive patients initially not classified as Type 1 were on insulin. When ICA, GADA, IA-2A, BMI and C-peptide were tested in a multiple logistic regression, only GADA was signiificant for insulin treatment within 3 years (OR = 18.8; 95% CI 1.8-191) in patients treated with diet or oral drugs at diagnosis. Conclusions A correct classification is difficult in adult diabetic patients. The presence of pancreatic autoantibodies, especially GADA, at diagnosis of diabetes are highly predictive for insulin therapy within 3 years from diagnosis.


  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • C-peptide
  • Diabetes classification
  • GADA
  • IA-2A
  • ICA


  • Family Medicine and Community Medicine
  • ISSN: 1520-7552
E-mail: ake [dot] lernmark [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Principal investigator

Diabetes and Celiac Unit

+46 40 39 19 01

+46 70 616 47 79


Jan Waldenströms gata 35, Malmö


Lund University Diabetes Centre, CRC, SUS Malmö, Jan Waldenströms gata 35, House 91:12. SE-214 28 Malmö. Telephone: +46 40 39 10 00