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LADA is frequently misdiagnosed as type 2 diabetes.

A type of autoimmune diabetes, usually first diagnosed after age 30, which is frequently initially misdiagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Most people with LADA still produce their own insulin when first diagnosed and hence initially do not require exogenous insulin injections, and may be able to control their blood glucose levels with meal planning, physical activity, and oral diabetes medications. However, within several years after diagnosis, there is rapid decline of residual beta-cell mass and subsequent development of insulin dependency, so that people with LADA must take exogenous insulin to control blood glucose levels.

Most experts believe that LADA is a slowly-developing variant of type 1 diabetes because patients have antibodies against the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.

Researchers estimate that as many as 10 percent of people initially diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have LADA.

LADA has also been called type 1.5 diabetes or double diabetes (although double diabetes is also used for people who have both type 1 and type 2 diabetes).


1. Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults: A distinct but heterogeneous clinical entity World J Diabetes. 2010 September 15; 1(4): 111-115.

2. Interventions for latent autoimmune diabetes (LADA) in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Sep 7;9:CD006165.

Also, see the commentary, Type one-and-a-half diabetes, at this website.
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Author: William W Quick, MD, FACP, FACE


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This page was new at D-is-for-Diabetes on March 26, 2012

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