We investigated whether characterisation of full-length (f-)GADA responses could identify early insulin requirement in adult-onset diabetes. In 179 f-GADA positive participants diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, we assessed associations of truncated (t-)GADA positivity, f-GADA IgG subclasses, and f-GADA affinity with early insulin requirement (<5 years), type 1 diabetes genetic risk score (T1D GRS), and C-peptide. t-GADA positivity was lower in f-GADA positive without early insulin in comparison to f-GADA positive type 2 diabetes requiring insulin within 5 years, and type 1 diabetes (75% vs. 91% and 95% respectively, p<0.0001). t-GADA positivity (in those f-GADA positive) identified a group with a higher type 1 diabetes genetic susceptibility (mean T1D GRS 0.248 vs. 0.225, p=0.003), lower C-peptide (1156 pmol/L vs. 4289 pmol/L, p=1x10−7), and increased IA-2A positivity (23% vs. 6%, p=0.03). In survival analysis, t-GADA positivity was associated with early insulin requirement compared with those only positive for f-GADA, independently from age of diagnosis, f-GADA titre and duration of diabetes [adjusted HR 5.7 (95% CI 1.4, 23.5), p=0.017]. The testing of t-GADA in f-GADA positive individuals with type 2 diabetes identifies those who have genetic and clinical characteristics comparable to type 1 diabetes and stratifies those at higher risk of early insulin requirement.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.26169529.

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