Risk Factor Trio Best Predicts Metabolic Syndrome

Researchers published the study covered in this summary on Research Square as a preprint that has not yet been peer reviewed.

Key Takeaways

  • The product of the triglycerides and glucose index (TyG) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) accounted for 68.6% of the risk for metabolic syndrome (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUC] of 0.686) in an urban Chinese population followed prospectively for 15 years.

  • The findings suggest that the product of TyG and WHtR is superior to three other similar parameters for predicting the risk of metabolic syndrome in the studied population.

  • TyG-related risk factors that combine obesity measures with TyG index are superior to other parameters for identifying metabolic syndrome in both women and men.

Why This Matters

  • Metabolic syndrome, characterized by abdominal obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, abnormal glucose metabolism, or previously diagnosed type 2 diabetes, is associated with increased risk for atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.

  • The TyG index, combining fasting plasma glucose and fasting triglycerides, is a potential surrogate marker for insulin resistance, which plays a major role in metabolic syndrome development.

  • Research has recently focused on the predictive value of bundled parameters including the product of the TyG index when combined with waist circumference (TyG-WC), waist-to-height ratio (TyG-WHtR), or waist-to-hip ratio (TyG-WHpR).

Study Design

  • Prospective study of an urban Chinese population in Chengdu, Sichuan province with 363 men and 227 women who underwent serial examinations and completed a risk factor survey in 1992 and again in 2007.  

Key Results

  • After adjustments for age, gender, smoking, drinking, physical exercise, and components of metabolic syndrome, TyG-WHtR was the strongest predictor of metabolic syndrome, with an odds ratio of 5.63 (P < .001).  

  • After adjustments, only TyG-WHtR and TyG-WC significantly predicted metabolic syndrome in both genders, with odds ratios for TyG-WHtR of 9.14 (P < .001) in males versus 3.18 (P = .005) in females.

  • In all participants, TyG-WHtR had the largest AUC for metabolic syndrome detection, at 0.686 (TyG-WHtR accounted for 68.6% of the risk for developing metabolic syndrome), followed by TyG-WC (AUC, 0.660), TyG-WHpR (AUC, 0.564), and TyG-index alone (AUC, 0.556).


  • Participants were all from China and may not reflect other populations.

  • Metabolic syndrome is a complex, multifactorial condition with limited practical utility as a diagnostic or management tool.


  • There was no funding for this work.

  • The authors had no disclosures.

This is a summary of a preprint research study, “Association of metabolic syndrome with TyG index and TyG-related parameters in an urban Chinese population: a 15-year prospective study” written by researchers from West China School of Medicine: Sichuan University West China Hospital on Research Square provided to you by Medscape. This study has not yet been peer reviewed. The full text of the study can be found on researchsquare.com.

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