J Korean Diabetes > Volume 15(4); 2014 > Article
The Journal of Korean Diabetes 2014;15(4):190-195.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4093/jkd.2014.15.4.190    Published online December 29, 2014.
한국인의 비전형성 당뇨병
Clinical Heterogeneity of Diabetes in Young Korean Patients.
Yongsoo Park
Department of Internal Medicine, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. parkys@hanyang.ac.kr
Diabetes among young patients in Korea is caused by a complex set of factors. In addition to the typical T1aD and T2D patients, there is a variable incidence of cases of non-autoimmune types of T1D associated with insulin deficiency (T1b), such as fulminant T1D (FT1D). Although T1a is the major type of childhood diabetes, FT1D exists as a hyper-acute subtype of T1D that affects older children, without causing autoimmunity. They showed a complete loss of beta-cell secretory capacity without evidence of recovery, necessitating long-term treatment with insulin. In addition, latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) is a form of autoimmune-mediated diabetes, usually diagnosed based on GAD autoantibody positivity. Although many epidemiological surveys of LADA have been conducted in Caucasian and Asian populations, their reported prevalence rates vary due to the use of different diagnostic criteria. In a recent study with a comparable design and valid methodology, the prevalence of LADA using GAD autoantibody positivity as the diagnostic criterion was higher (4.4%) than the previously reported prevalence of 1.7% in a population-based T2D survey. After 36 months of follow-up, only 3 of the 39 patients initially diagnosed with LADA had become insulin-dependent, and they were all positive for multiple autoantibodies (GAD, IA-2 and ZnT8 antibody). This demonstrates that true insulin dependency, which was initially indicated by multiple antibody positivity, has not increased in the Korean population. Therefore, despite etiological heterogeneity, in the clinical setting, early diagnosis and classification of patients with diabetes relying on clinical grounds without measuring autoantibodies could be a possible method to minimize complications.
Key Words: Genetic heterogeneity, Diabetes mellitus type 1, Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults, Autoantibodies

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