ESPE Abstracts (2015) 84 P-3-892

The Triglyceride-to-HDL Cholesterol Ratio is Associated with Insulin Resistance in Obese Boys But Not in Obese Girls

Guy Massaa,b, Liene Bervoetsb, Jonas Massaa & Renate Zeevaerta


aJessa Ziekenhuis, Hasselt, Belgium; bUniversity of Hasselt, Hasselt, Belgium


Background: Children and adolescents with obesity often have insulin resistance (IR) and are at increased risk to develop coronary heart disease (CHD) in adulthood. The triglyceride to HDL-cholesterol (TG/HDL-C) ratio reflects small, dense low-density lipoprotein (LDL), an atherogenic lipoprotein particle that strongly predicts CHD.

Objective and hypotheses: To evaluate the TG/HDL-C ratio in obese children and adolescents and study the relationship with age, the degree of obesity and IR.

Method: Data from 125 obese children and adolescents (71 girls; mean±S.D. BMI SDS: 2.9±0.4) aged 10–18 yrs (13.7±1.8 years) were studied. Fasting plasma glucose, serum insulin, HDL-C and TG concentrations were measured. IR was assessed by the HOMA-IR.

Results: 18 (25%) girls and 17 (23%) boys had TG levels above 150 mg/dl. 23 (32%) girls and 28 (38%) boys had HDL-C levels below 40 mg/dl. TG levels were inversely related to HDL-C in girls (r=−0.283; P=0.017) and in boys (r=−0.329; P=0.004). The TG/HDL-C ratio was not related to age, neither in girls (r=0.113; P=0.349) neither in boys (r=0.136; P=0.249), nor to BMI-SDS, neither in girls (r=−0.048; P=0.689) neither in boys (r=−0.081; P=0.494). The TG/HDL-C ratio was significantly related to the HOMA-IR in boys (r=0.299; P=0.010), but not in girls (r=0.129; P=0.288).

Conclusion: The TG/HDL-C ratio is not associated with the degree of obesity nor with age in obese children and adolescents. In obese boys it is associated with the HOMA-IR, but not in girls. Our findings suggest that in obese boys the TG/HDL-C ratio may serve as a clinically useful determinant to identify those patients who are IR and at increased risk to develop future CHD.

Funding: This study is part of the Limburg Clinical Research Program (LCRP) UHasselt-ZOL-Jessa, supported by the foundation Limburg Sterk Merk, Hasselt University, Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg and Jessa Hospital.

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