What Is LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults)?
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LADA: Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults
Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) is a relatively new term for a type of diabetes. Although LADA more closely resembles type 1 diabetes, it can often be misdiagnosed as type 2 diabetes by health care providers who don't specialize in diabetes care. Providers have been taught that most people who develop type 1 are typically younger than age 30. "In the past, type 1 was always associated with kids, which is why it was called juvenile diabetes," says endocrinologist James McCallum, M.D., of the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California. Many endocrinologists are diabetes specialists.
Today's reality is that many people older than 30 are being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Another factor leading to the growing population of adults living with type 1 diabetes as well as LADA is people are living healthier and longer. It's estimated that about 85 percent of people currently living with type 1 diabetes are adults.
"Now we recognize that there is a small but growing subset of adults diagnosed with LADA," McCallum says. Some experts believe LADA is a more slowly progressing type 1 diabetes than the type more typically diagnosed in people under 30 years of age. Unfortunately, many people with LADA are often misdiagnosed and incorrectly treated for type 2 diabetes.