LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults) is a form of type 1 diabetes which is diagnosed in individuals who are older than the usual age of onset of type 1 diabetes. It is frequently confused with type 2 diabetes.
There are a number of differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and LADA. First, LADA does not present with diabetic ketoacidosis, much like type 2 wouldn't, and typically occurs in people over 25 years old. People with LADA can often initially control their diabetes with pills but within months to several years, depending on the person, are insulin-dependent. Other characteristics of LADA include low C-peptide levels (though they can be normal in the beginning), no family history of type 2 diabetes, no insulin resistance characteristic of type 2 diabetes, and the presence of GAD antibodies that attack their beta cells in the same way as in type 1 diabetes.
This form of diabetes has only recently been identified by the medical community and appears to be frequently misdiagnosed as type 2 diabetes, accounting for roughly 20% of all type 2 diabetics.