Recent research has underlined the need to explore pathogenic, genetic and clinical spectrum of adult onset autoimmune diabetes, also known as latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA). We aimed to investigate whether genetic factors that are associated with type 1 diabetes (T1D) susceptibility, namely HLA-DQB1 alleles, cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 gene (CTLA-4) and insulin gene (INS) polymorphisms, are also associated with an atypical subset of patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (T2D). The case–control study included 70 T1D, 305 T2D and 252 nondiabetic controls. The T2D group was divided into atypical T2D (LADA, n= 61) or typical T2D (n= 244) subgroups based on the presence of at least one pancreas-specific antibody. Our data suggested that HLA-DQB1 alleles of all three risk classes, INS variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) I/I and CTLA-4+49 GG or AG genotypes, were independent risk factors for developing LADA and could be used as a diagnostic tool to discriminate between LADA and T2D. Additionally, there was an increased association between LADA and CTLA-4 diabetes-susceptibility genotypes and decreased association with INS VNTR and high-risk HLA-DQB1 alleles, compared with T1D. Our study suggested the need for further investigation into the genetic background and functional genomics of LADA in comparison with T1D and T2D.