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Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2008 Aug;63(4):427-32.

High ratio of triglycerides to HDL-cholesterol predicts extensive coronary disease.

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Insituto do Coração, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


An abnormal ratio of triglycerides to HDL-cholesterol (TG/HDL-c) indicates an atherogenic lipid profile and a risk for the development of coronary disease.


To investigate the association between lipid levels, specifically TG/HDL-c, and the extent of coronary disease.


High-risk patients (n=374) submitted for coronary angiography had their lipid variables measured and coronary disease extent scored by the Friesinger index.


The subjects consisted of 220 males and 154 females, age 57.2+/-11.1 years, with total cholesterol of 210+/-50.3 mg/dL, triglycerides of 173.8+/-169.8 mg/dL, HDL-cholesterol (HDL-c) of 40.1+/-12.8 mg/dL, LDL-cholesterol (LDL-c) of 137.3+/-46.2 mg/dL, TG/HDL-c of 5.1+/-5.3, and a Friesinger index of 6.6+/-4.7. The relationship between the extent of coronary disease (dichotomized by a Friesenger index of 5 and lipid levels (normal vs. abnormal) was statistically significant for the following: triglycerides, odds ratio of 2.02 (1.31-3.1; p=0.0018); HDL-c, odds ratio of 2.21 (1.42-3.43; p=0.0005); and TG/HDL-c, odds ratio of 2.01(1.30-3.09; p=0.0018). However, the relationship was not significant between extent of coronary disease and total cholesterol [1.25 (0.82-1.91; p=0.33)] or LDL-c [1.47 (0.96-2.25; p=0.0842)]. The chi-square for linear trends for Friesinger >4 and lipid quartiles was statistically significant for triglycerides (p=0.0017), HDL-c (p=0.0001), and TG/HDL-c (p=0.0018), but not for total cholesterol (p=0.393) or LDL-c (p=0.0568). The multivariate analysis by logistic regression OR gave 1.3+/-0.79 (p= .0001) for TG/HDL-c, 0.779+/-0.074 (p= .0001) for HDL-c, and 1.234+/-0.097 (p=0.03) for LDL. Analysis of receiver operating characteristic curves showed that only TG/HDL-c and HDL-c were useful for detecting extensive coronary disease, with the former more strongly associated with disease.


Although some lipid variables were associated with the extent of coronary disease, the ratio of triglycerides to HDL-cholesterol showed the strongest association with extent.

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