Gender difference in the association between TyG index and subclinical atherosclerosis: results from the I-Lan Longitudinal Aging Study

Ya Wen Lu, Chun Chin Chang*, Ruey Hsing Chou, Yi Lin Tsai, Li Kuo Liu, Liang Kung Chen, Po Hsun Huang*, Shing Jong Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Background: Insulin resistance (IR) is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in non-diabetic patients through the association of hyperglycemia or associated metabolic factors. The triglyceride glucose (TyG) index, which was defined by incorporating serum glucose and insulin concentrations, was developed as a surrogate marker of insulin resistance. We aimed to investigate the association between the TyG index and the early phase of subclinical atherosclerosis (SA) between the sexes. Methods: The I-Lan Longitudinal Aging Study (ILAS) enrolled 1457 subjects aged 50–80 years. For each subject, demographic data and the TyG index {ln[fasting triglyceride (mg/dL) × fasting plasma glucose (mg/dL)]/2} were obtained. Patients were further stratified according to sex and the 50th percentile of the TyG index (≥ 8.55 or < 8.55). SA was defined as the mean carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) at the 75th percentile of the entire cohort. Demographic characteristics and the presence of SA were compared between the groups. Logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the relationship between TyG index and SA. Results: Patients with a higher TyG index (≥ 8.55) had a higher body mass index (BMI), hypertension (HTN) and diabetes mellitus (DM). They had higher lipid profiles, including total cholesterol (T-Chol) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), compared to those with a lower TyG index (< 8.55). Gender disparity was observed in non-diabetic women who had a significantly higher prevalence of SA in the high TyG index group than in the low TyG index group. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, a high TyG index was independently associated with SA in non-diabetic women after adjusting for traditional risk factors [adjusted odds ratio (OR): 1.510, 95% CI 1.010–2.257, p = 0.045] but not in non-diabetic men. The TyG index was not associated with the presence of SA in diabetic patients, irrespective of sex. Conclusion: A high TyG index was significantly associated with SA and gender disparity in non-diabetic patients. This result may highlight the need for a sex-specific risk management strategy to prevent atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number206
JournalCardiovascular Diabetology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Carotid intima-media thickness
  • Insulin resistance
  • TyG index


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