The triglyceride to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (TG/HDL-C) ratio as a predictor of β-cell function in African American women

Amita Maturu, Peter Dewitt, Philip A. Kern, Neda Rasouli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background The TG/HDL-C ratio is used as a marker of insulin resistance (IR) in Caucasians. However, there are conflicting data on TG/HDL-C ratio as a predictor of IR in African Americans. Compared to Caucasians, African Americans have lower TG levels and increased insulin levels despite a greater risk for diabetes. We hypothesized that the TG/HDL-C ratio is predictive of IR and/or β-cell function in African American (AA) women. Methods Non-diabetic AA women (n = 41) with a BMI > 25 kg/m2 underwent frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test (FSIGTT). Insulin sensitivity (SI) and the acute insulin response to glucose (AIRg) were measured using minimal model and β-cell function was determined by disposition index (DI = SI∗AIRg). IR was defined as the lowest tertile of SI (< 1.8 × 10- 4 min- 1/μU/ml) and inadequate β cell compensation was defined as the lowest tertile of DI (< 900). Data were analyzed using logistic regression models and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC-ROC). An AUC-ROC > 0.70 was defined as significant discrimination. Results The mean (± SD) age was 38.5 ± 11.3 years, with BMI of 33.5 ± 6.7 kg/m2 and fasting glucose of 86.5 ± 10.5 mg/dL. The AUC-ROC for the prediction of DI < 900 was 0.74 indicating that a higher TG/HDL-C ratio was associated with decreased DI. However, the AUC-ROC for prediction of IR or low AIRg (< 335 μU/ml) was not significant. Conclusion This study confirmed that the TG/HDL-C ratio is a poor predictor of IR in AA women. However, we did show an inverse association between the TG/HDL-C ratio and β-cell function, suggesting that this simple tool may effectively identify AA women at risk for DM2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-565
Number of pages5
JournalMetabolism: Clinical and Experimental
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the following grants: Veteran Administrative Merit Review Award to NR, NIH/NCATS Colorado CTSI Grant Number UL1 TR001082 , CTSA grant UL1TR000117 . Contents are the authors’ sole responsibility and do not necessarily represent official NIH views.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • African Americans
  • Insulin resistance
  • TG/HDL-C ratio
  • beta-Cell function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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