Comparison of two methods using plasma triglyceride concentration as a surrogate estimate of insulin action in nondiabetic subjects: triglycerides × glucose versus triglyceride/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol

Metabolism. 2011 Dec;60(12):1673-6. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2011.04.006. Epub 2011 May 31.


The objective was to compare relationships between insulin-mediated glucose uptake and surrogate estimates of insulin action, particularly those using fasting triglyceride (TG) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations. Insulin-mediated glucose uptake was quantified by determining the steady-state plasma glucose (SSPG) concentration during the insulin suppression test in 455 nondiabetic subjects. Fasting TG, HDL-C, glucose, and insulin concentrations were measured; and calculations were made of the following: (1) plasma concentration ratio of TG/HDL-C, (2) TG × fasting glucose (TyG index), (3) homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, and (4) insulin area under the curve (insulin-AUC) during a glucose tolerance test. Insulin-AUC correlated most closely with SSPG (r ∼ 0.75, P < .001), with lesser but comparable correlations between SSPG and TG/HDL-C ratio, TyG index, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, and fasting TG and insulin (r ∼ 0.60, P < .001). Calculations of TG/HDL-C ratio and TyG index correlated with SSPG concentration to a similar degree, and the relationships were comparable to estimates using fasting insulin. The strongest relationship was between SSPG and insulin-AUC.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Area Under Curve
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood*
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin / physiology*
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Research Design
  • Triglycerides / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Insulin
  • Triglycerides