Background and aims: The triglyceride (TG)/high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) ratio has been reported as a useful marker of atherogenic lipid abnormalities, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular disease. We evaluated in a large sample of children and adolescents the association of TG/HDL-C ratio with early signs of morphological vascular changes and cardiometabolic risk factors including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Methods and results: The study population, including 548 children (aged 6-16 years), of whom 157 were normal-weight, 118 overweight, and 273 obese, had anthropometric, laboratory, liver and carotid ultrasonography (carotid artery intima-media thickness-cIMT) data collected. Subjects were stratified into tertiles of TG/HDL-C. There was a progressive increase in body mass index (BMI), BMI-SD score (SDS), waist circumference, blood pressure (BP), liver enzymes, glucose, insulin, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), and cIMT values across TG/HDL-C tertiles. The odds ratios for central obesity, insulin resistance, high hsCRP, NAFLD, metabolic syndrome, and elevated cIMT increased significantly with the increasing tertile of TG/HDL-C ratio, after adjustment for age, gender, pubertal status, and BMI-SDS. In a stepwise multivariate logistic regression analysis, increased cIMT was associated with high TG/HDL-C ratio [OR, 1.81 (95% CI, 1.08-3.04); P < 0.05], elevated BP [5.13 (95% CI, 1.03-15.08); P < 0.05], insulin resistance [2.16 (95% CI, 1.30-3.39); P < 0.01], and NAFLD [2.70 (95% CI, 1.62-4.56); P < 0.01].
Conclusion: TG/HDL-C ratio may help identify children and adolescents at high risk for structural vascular changes and metabolic derangement.
Keywords: Carotid artery intima-media thickness; Children; Insulin resistance; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Triglyceride-to-HDL cholesterol ratio.
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