December 31, 2013

Hunting the Cause of LADA

by

HUNTWhat triggers adult autoimmune diabetes? It’s a fair question and a study answering this question was published in the Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism.

The aim of this study was to identify a risk factor that precludes the diagnosis of adult-onset autoimmune diabetes and may prevalent the incidence of this type of diabetes. This form of diabetes is also referred to as latent autoimmune diabetes in adults  or LADA.

LADA patients have islet antibodies at diagnosis of diabetes. The progression of total beta cell destruction is slow. LADA patients are therefore not insulin requiring, at least during the first 6 months after diagnosis of diabetes.

The Nord-Trøndelag Health Survey Study (HUNT) is a study of almost 50,000 adults over the age of 20 years old. The study evaluated the presence of Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase Antibodies (GADA) and age at onset. Those participants whose age of onset was at or above 35 years old, were used to identify LADA risk factors.

A reduced risk of LADA was correlated with a BMI below 25, regular physical activity, minimal alcohol consumption and psychosocial well-being. All 4 healthy lifestyle factors played an instrumental role in determining the likelihood of LADA diagnosis.

This study found that adult-onset autoimmune diabetes or LADA is preventable by maintaining a BMI in the non-overweight range. The old school vernacular of T1D was insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes. Now that they’ve been reclassified as as T1D and T2D, is it easier to understand the nature of diabetes if we tagged it with autoimmune or insulin resistant?

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