CLINICAL REVIEW: Type 1 Diabetes and Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults: One End of the Rainbow

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The aim of this review was to explore the pathogenic and clinical spectrum of type 1 diabetes, which includes a form of adult onset autoimmune diabetes usually referred to as latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA). We looked at this entire range of forms of autoimmune diabetes as a spectrum of genetic and nongenetic environmental influences, diabetes-associated immune responses, and metabolic changes.

Evidence Acquisition:

We assessed epidemiological, genetic, immunological, and clinical data from major articles on autoimmune diabetes, including LADA and type 1 diabetes, published since 1992.

Evidence Synthesis:

Data analysis of autoimmune diabetes indicates that type 1 diabetes and LADA occupy different poles of the same spectrum.


Evidence is presented that LADA represents one end of a rainbow encompassing type 1 diabetes. The clinical nature and management of autoimmune diabetes poses important therapeutic questions regarding conventional therapy for hyperglycemia as well as therapy aiming to protect residual β-cell function. Limiting loss of endogenous insulin secretion using immunomodulation could be valuable, not only for LADA but also for type 1 diabetes.

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