Association of triglyceride-glucose index trajectory and frailty in urban older residents: evidence from the 10-year follow-up in a cohort study

Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2023 Sep 29;22(1):264. doi: 10.1186/s12933-023-02002-3.


Background: Frailty is an age-related geriatric syndrome that leads to a series of clinically negative events. A better understanding of the factors associated with frailty assists in preventing its progression. The triglyceride-glucose (TyG) index, a simple alternative index of insulin resistance, has not yet been proven to be associated with frailty. The present study aimed to investigate the association between the TyG index and its trajectory with frailty from a cross-sectional, retrospective and prospective level based on an ongoing cohort.

Methods: This longitudinal study included 1,866 older residents from the "Fujian prospective aging cohort" (ChiCTR 2,000,032,949). The TyG index was calculated as ln [fasting triglyceride (mg/dL) ╳ fasting plasma glucose (mg/dL)/2] and group-based trajectory model (GBTM) was applied to identify the trajectory of TyG index. The association between different trajectory groups of TyG index with frailty risk were estimated using multinomial logistic regression analysis.

Results: In the cross-sectional analysis, the highest quartile of the TyG index was associated with an increased risk of frailty (TyG index Q4 vs. Q1, OR = 1.50, 95% CI 1.00-2.25, P = 0.048). Restricted cubic splines demonstrated an increasing trend for TyG index and frailty risk. During a follow-up of ten years, three distinct trajectories of the TyG index were identified: low-stable (n = 697, 38.3%), moderate-stable (n = 910, 50.0%) and high-stable (n = 214, 11.7%). Compared with those in the stable-low group of TyG index trajectory, the ORs (95% CI) of prefrailty and frailty risk were 1.79 (95% CI 1.11-2.88) and 2.17 (95% CI 1.01-3.88) for the high-stable group, respectively (P = 0.017 and P = 0.038). In the subgroup analysis, the association of the high-stable trajectory of TyG and frailty status were only observed in subjects with BMI ≥ 24 kg/m2. Prospectively, the highest quartile of the TyG index was associated with a 2.09-fold significantly increased risk of one-year ADL/IADL decline (P = 0.045).

Conclusions: The present study suggests a potential role for a high and sustainable level of TyG index in the risk of frailty. The trajectories of the TyG index can help to identify older individuals at a higher risk of frailty who deserve primitive preventive and therapeutic approaches.

Keywords: Frail older adults; Insulin resistance; Triglyceride-glucose index.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Frailty* / diagnosis
  • Frailty* / epidemiology
  • Glucose
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Triglycerides


  • Glucose
  • Triglycerides
  • Blood Glucose
  • Biomarkers