Clinical Investigation| Volume 365, ISSUE 2, P184-188, February 2023

The triglyceride-waist circumference index is a valid biomarker of metabolic syndrome in African Americans

Published:November 22, 2022DOI:



      The hypertriglyceridemia waist (HTGW) phenotype is associated with visceral adiposity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). Since the cut points for abdominal obesity and hypertriglyceridemia, differ for different race groups, investigators have developed the product of triglycerides (TG) and waist circumference (WC) as the TG.WC index. We compared this TG.WC index to the TG:HDL-C ratio in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) study to predict metabolic syndrome (MetS) in African Americans (AAs).


      Participants included 950 AAs and 2651 non-Hispanic Whites (NHWs) for comparison from the NHANES data set. Persons with diabetes, ASCVD and macro-inflammation were excluded. Fasting blood was obtained for lipids, insulin and CRP.


      In AAs and NHWs, both the TG.WC index and TG:HDL-C ratio were significantly increased in MetS patients. Also, both increased with increasing severity of MetS and correlated with all features of MetS, insulin resistance and inflammation. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis showed that discrimination with TG.WC for MetS was superior to the TG:HDL-C ratio especially in AAs.


      TG.WC index is a superior biomarker to TG:HDL-C for predicting MetS in AAs despite their lower TG levels.


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