It has been reported that some patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) have latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) and may show different clinical characteristics than those with Type 2 DM. We aimed to determine the ratio and clinical features of LADA in patients with diagnosed initially as Type 2 DM. We measured glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies (GADA) in 54 patients, diagnosed clinically with Type 2 DM. Of 54 patients, 17 (31%) were GADA positive. GADA-positive patients had significantly earlier diabetes onset age (P<.001), lower BMI (P<.05), and lower serum C-peptide value (P<.001) than did those who were GADA negative. A higher proportion of the GADA-positive patients were receiving insulin therapy (P<.01). With respect to the duration of DM, familial history of DM, and the levels of blood pressures, fasting plasma glucose, and HbA1c, there was no difference between the two groups. Nephropathy and retinopathy were more frequent in GADA-positive than in GADA-negative patients. The prevalence of neuropathy was comparable between the two groups. GADA was negatively associated with BMI, C-peptide levels, and diabetes-onset age, but positively related to retinopathy, nephropathy, and insulin treatment. This study indicated that the important portion of the patients who were initially diagnosed as Type 2 DM may have LADA. In Type 2 diabetic patients who have lower BMI and diagnosis of diabetes in relatively younger age, the possibility of LADA should be taken into consideration. The higher prevalence of nephropathy and retinopathy in GADA-positive patients also suggests the importance of early diagnosis and strict metabolic control in these patients. (C) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.