Comparison of non-HDL-cholesterol versus triglycerides-to-HDL-cholesterol ratio in relation to cardiometabolic risk factors and preclinical organ damage in overweight/obese children: the CARITALY study

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2015 May;25(5):489-94. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2015.01.012. Epub 2015 Feb 7.


Background and aims: Lipid ratios to estimate atherosclerotic disease risk in overweight/obese children are receiving great attention. We aimed to compare the performance of non-high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) versus triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio (Tg/HDL-C) in identifying cardiometabolic risk factors (CMRFs) or preclinical signs of organ damage in outpatient Italian overweight/obese children.

Methods and results: In this retrospective, cross-sectional study, 5505 children (age 5-18 years) were recruited from 10 Italian centers for the care of obesity, of which 4417 (78%) showed obesity or morbid obesity. Anthropometric, biochemical, and blood pressure variables were analyzed in all children. Liver ultrasound scan, carotid artery ultrasound, and echocardiography were performed in 1257, 601, and 252 children, respectively. The entire cohort was divided based on the 75th percentile of non-HDL-C (≥130 mg/dl) or Tg/HDL-C ratio (≥2.2). The odds ratio for insulin resistance, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, presence of liver steatosis, increased levels of carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) and concentric left ventricular hypertrophy (cLVH) was higher in children with high levels of Tg/HDL-C with respect to children with high levels of non-HDL-C.

Conclusions: In an outpatient setting of overweight/obese children, Tg/HDL-C ratio discriminated better than non-HDL-C children with CMRFs or preclinical signs of liver steatosis, and increased cIMT and cLVH.

Keywords: Cardiometabolic risk; Children; Lipoproteins; Obesity complications.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Algorithms
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Carotid Arteries / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Arteries / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Liver / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology*
  • Overweight / blood
  • Overweight / physiopathology*
  • Pediatric Obesity / blood
  • Pediatric Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Triglycerides / blood*
  • Ultrasonography


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol