Relation among the plasma triglyceride/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration ratio, insulin resistance, and associated cardio-metabolic risk factors in men and women

Am J Cardiol. 2012 Jun 15;109(12):1749-53. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2012.02.016. Epub 2012 Mar 24.


Results of recent studies using the ratio of plasma triglyceride (TG) to high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentration to identify insulin-resistant patients at increased cardiometabolic risk have emphasized that the cut point used for this purpose will vary with race. Because TG and HDL cholesterol concentrations vary with gender, this analysis was initiated to define gender-specific plasma TG/HDL cholesterol concentration ratios that best identified high-risk subjects among women (n = 1,102) and men (n = 464) of primarily European ancestry. Insulin resistance was defined as the 25% of the population with the highest values for fasting plasma insulin concentration and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance. Using TG/HDL concentration ratios >2.5 in women and >3.5 in men identified subgroups of men and women that were comparable in terms of insulin resistance and associated cardiometabolic risk, with significantly higher values for fasting plasma insulin, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference, and glucose and TG concentrations and lower HDL cholesterol concentrations than in women and men below these cut points. The sensitivity and specificity of these gender-specific cut points to identify insulin-resistant subjects were about 40% and about 80%, respectively. In conclusion, the plasma TG/HDL cholesterol concentration ratio that identifies patients who are insulin resistant and at significantly greater cardiometabolic risk varies between men and women.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Argentina
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / ethnology
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood*
  • Data Collection
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance / ethnology
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sex Factors
  • Triglycerides / blood*
  • Young Adult


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Insulin
  • Triglycerides