Triglyceride/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (TG/HDL-C) index as a reference criterion of risk for metabolic syndrome (MetS) and low insulin sensitivity in apparently healthy subjects

Gac Med Mex. 2017 Mar-Apr;153(2):152-158.


Aim: To evaluate if the TG/HDL-C index can be considered as a reference criterion of MetS and low insulin sensitivity in apparently healthy subjects.

Methods: The subjects were Mexican mestizos who resided in Puebla City, Mexico, who were anthropometrically, biochemically, and clinically characterized. The TG/HDL-C index was calculated by dividing triglyceride (TG) levels by HDL-C levels. MetS was diagnosed by the Third Report from the Adult Treatment Panel-National Cholesterol Education Program (ATP-III NCEP) criteria, while insulin sensitivity was evaluated by the Quantitative Insulin sensitivity Check Index (QUICKI).

Results: The study included 813 subjects, with an average age of 38.6 ± 12.1 years, of which 564 were women and 249 men. An association was found between high TG/HDL-C index and low insulin sensitivity (Odds ratio [OR]: 4.09; p < 0.01) and with MetS (OR: 15.29; p < 0.01). A correlation was found between the TG/HDL-C index and QUICKI (rho: -0.4989; p < 0.01) and with MetS (rho: 0.6581; p < 0.01).

Conclusion: The results indicate that the TG/HDL-C index is associated with low insulin sensitivity and MetS in apparently healthy subjects, suggesting this index as a reference criterion of risk for low insulin sensitivity and MetS.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / blood*
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Mexico
  • Reference Values
  • Risk Assessment
  • Triglycerides / blood*


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • HDL-triglyceride
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Triglycerides