The triglyceride glucose index (TyG) was found to be an independent marker for predicting subclinical coronary artery disease (CAD) in individuals with no traditional cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs), according to a study published in Lipids in Health and Disease.

In this retrospective, cross-sectional, observational study, researchers selected asymptomatic patients with no traditional CVRFs who had undergone self-referred coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA; n=1250). Demographic and anthropometric data, as well as laboratory data were collected. Patients were divided into 3 groups based on TyG index tertiles: group I (mean TyG index, 7.84±0.19), group II (mean TyG index, 8.27±0.11), and group III (mean TyG index, 8.83±0.30). CAD was defined as the presence of any coronary plaque identified on CCTA.

The TyG index was found to be associated with an increased risk for CAD (odds ratio [OR], 2.158; 95% CI, 1.605-2.903; P <.001) in an univariate regression analysis. The TyG index was found to have an incremental impact on CAD (OR, 1.473; 95% CI, 1.026-2.166; P =.036) in a multivariate regression analysis. A receiver operating characteristic curve analysis indicated that the optimal TyG index cut-off for predicting subclinical CAD (as determined using the Youden index) was 8.44 (sensitivity, 47.9%; specificity, 68.5%; area under the curve,0.6; 95% CI, 0.561-0.640; P <.001).

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Study limitations include a possible selection bias, problems with generalizability, and the use of CCTA imaging in asymptomatic individuals.

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“The present study identified the optimal cut-off of TyG index for predicting CAD in asymptomatic CVRF-free individuals,” concluded the researchers. “Although the predictive value improved after considering non-modifiable clinical factors, including old age and male sex, it remained only moderately powerful. Further large-scale prospective studies might be necessary to confirm the significance of TyG index in primary prevention of CAD in individuals who have conventionally been considered healthy.”


Park GM, Cho YR, Won KB, et al. Triglyceride glucose index is a useful marker for predicting subclinical coronary artery disease in the absence of traditional risk factors [published online January 14, 2020]. Lipids Health Dis. doi: 10.1186/s12944-020-1187-0