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The purpose of this study was to estimate whether prevalence of metabolic syndrome in adult European diabetic patients is associated with type of diabetes.A consecutive series of patients attending hospital-based diabetes clinics were assessed for the frequency of metabolic syndrome and compared with population-based control subjects as part of the Action LADA study. In total, 2,011 subjects (aged 30–70 years) were studied, including 1,247 patients with recent-onset type 2 diabetes without glutamic acid decarboxylase autoantibodies (GADAs), 117 non–insulin-requiring patients with GADAs who had not received insulin therapy for at least 6 months after diagnosis (designated latent autoimmune diabetes of adults [LADA]), 288 type 1 diabetic patients, and 359 normal subjects.Frequency of metabolic syndrome was significantly different in patients with type 1 diabetes (31.9%) and LADA (41.9%) (P = 0.015) and in both conditions was less frequent than in type 2 diabetic patients (88.8%) (P < 0.0001 for each). Eliminating glucose as a variable, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome was similar in patients with autoimmune diabetes (type 1 diabetes and/or LADA) (17.3%) and control subjects (23.7%) but remained more common in type 2 diabetic patients (47.8%) (P = 0.001 for all groups). In both type 1 diabetic patients and those with LADA, individual components of metabolic syndrome were similar but less common than in type 2 diabetic patients (P < 0.0001 for each).The prevalence of metabolic syndrome is significantly higher in type 2 diabetic patients than in patients with LADA or adults with type 1 diabetes. Excluding glucose as a variable, metabolic syndrome is not more prevalent in patients with autoimmune diabetes than in control subjects. Metabolic syndrome is not a characteristic of autoimmune diabetes.