Go to page content


LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults) is a slow-progressing form of insulin-deficient diabetes which starts in adulthood. It is classified as a subcategory of type 1 diabetes.

In adult life, it is possible to get the classic type 1 diabetes, which results in a rapidly forming insulin deficiency, or its more slow-progressing form called LADA. LADA is an abbreviation of Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults. Latent refers to the fact that it takes body longer to lose its ability to produce insulin compared with the traditional type 1 diabetes.

For approximately 10 per cent or one in ten of people who get diabetes as an adult, a blood test exhibits GAD (glutamic acid decarboxylase) antibodies, which are a sign of an autoimmune inflammation of the beta cells of the pancreas. GAD antibodies are indicative of type 1 diabetes.

The most typical age to get LADA is 40–60. Initially, a person with LADA is able to manage by good lifestyle choices and tablets, and the condition is a kind of intermediate between the main types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Today, LADA is considered a subgroup of type 1 diabetes.

To begin with, individual may be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes because they get the condition as an adult and do not initially require insulin therapy after the diagnosis. They may also be overweight with high blood pressure or a lipid metabolism disorder, however, this is less common compared to traditional or obesity-related type 2 diabetes.

Usually, LADA is suspected, if you get diabetes as an adult, you are of normal weight or only slightly overweight and you do not have a lipid metabolism disorder, i.e. you have normal blood pressure and your triglyceride or your blood fat level is normal. To begin with, a person with LADA can manage without insulin therapy.

If a person gets diabetes as an adult and their blood test exhibits GAD antibodies, they have LADA.

LADA is characterised by the body’s slowly diminishing ability to produce insulin. Although the blood test exhibits a fairly low C-peptide level, which reflects insulin production, the slowly developing insulin deficiency does not initially require MDI (Multiple Daily Injections) insulin therapy.

The goals of the management with regard to blood sugar, blood pressure and the blood fat levels are usually similar to diabetes in general.

Essentially, LADA is managed by managing your lifestyle.

Lifestyle management can be combined with pharmaceuticals used to treat type 2 diabetes, including metformin, intestinal hormone products and SGTL2 inhibitors.

Insulin therapy begins, if the blood sugar does not stay at the target level. Depending on the person and the way their blood sugar behaves, the treatment can initially begin with either mealtime insulin or basal insulin therapy, or directly with MDI (Multiple Daily Injections) therapy.

Updated 30.9.2023