Physiol. Res. 53: 279-286, 2004

Anti-GAD-Positive Patients with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus Have Higher Prevalence of Autoimmune Thyroiditis than Anti-GAD-Negative Patients with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus


1Center of Diabetology, Third Department of Medicine, General Hospital, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and 2Institute of Endocrinology, Prague, Czech Republic

Received May 22, 2003
Accepted July 21, 2003

The aim of our study was to evaluate antibodies against thyroglobulin (anti-TG) and thyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO) – markers of autoimmune thyroiditis – in several groups of adult patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). We were particularly interested whether the presence of thyroid antibodies is related to the positivity of glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies (anti-GAD). We found elevated anti-GAD in 46 % (97/210) patients with type 1 DM. All patients with type 2 diabetes were anti-GAD-negative. At least one thyroid antibody (anti-TG and/or anti-TPO) was found in 30 % (62/210) patients with type 1 DM and 27 % (22/83) type 2 diabetes patients. The patients with type 1 DM were further grouped according to their anti-GAD status. The anti-GAD-positive patients had a higher prevalence of anti-TG antibodies than the anti-GAD-negative patients (25 % vs. 12 %, p=0.03) as well as anti-TPO antibodies (32 % vs. 12 %, p<0.001). At least one thyroid antibody was detected in 39 % (38/97) of anti-GAD-positive but only in 21 % (24/113) of anti-GAD-negative patients with type 1 DM (p=0.006). No significant difference in the frequency of thyroid antibodies was found between anti-GAD-negative patients with type 1 and type 2 DM (21 % vs. 27 %, p=0.4). The groups with or without thyroid antibodies in both type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients did not differ in actual age, the age at diabetes onset, duration of diabetes, body mass index or HbA1c level. Patients with elevated thyroid antibodies had significantly higher levels of TSH than those without thyroid antibodies (1.86 vs. 3.22 mIU/l, p=0.04 in type 1 DM; 2.06 vs. 4.89 mIU/l, p=0.003 in type 2 DM). We conclude that there is a higher frequency of thyroid-specific antibodies in anti-GAD-positive adult patients with type 1 DM than in anti-GAD-negative patients or in patients with type 2 DM. Patients with or without thyroid antibodies do not differ in age, DM onset and duration, BMI or HbA1c. Thyroid antibodies-positive patients have higher levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).

Key words
Diabetes mellitus • Thyroid antibody • Autoimmune thyroiditis • Glutamic acid decarboxylase antibody


© 2004 by the Institute of Physiology, Czech Academy of Sciences