Triglycerides and TG/HDL‑C ratio as surrogate markers for insulin resistance in Nigerian women with polycystic ovary syndrome

  • Chinyere B. N. Akpata
  • Patrick O. Uadia
  • Friday E. Okonofua
Keywords: Insulin resistance; Nigerian women; polycystic ovary syndrome; surrogate marker; triglyceride.


Background: Dyslipidemia is one of the most perplexing metabolic consequences in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Obesity, insulin resistance (IR), and hyperandrogenism, the pervasive features of PCOS, play significant pathophysiological roles in the lipidemic aberrations associated with the syndrome.
Objective: This study aimed to assess the diagnostic utility of triglyceride (TG) and triglyceride to high‑density lipoprotein‑cholesterol (TG/HDL‑C) ratio as surrogate markers for identifying IR in infertile Nigerian women with PCOS.
Materials and Methods: Eighty‑seven infertile women with PCOS were selected according to the Androgen Excess Society criteria and categorized into two groups. After anthropometric measurements, fasting blood samples were assayed for plasma glucose, serum insulin, total cholesterol, TG, HDL‑C while lipoprotein ratios were calculated. Homeostasis model assessment for IR (HOMA‑IR) was used in defining IR. The areas under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis were used to compare the power of the serum markers, and to obtain the optimal cutoffs of TG and TG/HDL‑C with HOMA‑IR.
Results: TGs correlated significantly with HOMA‑IR in the obese PCOS women. However, the areas under the ROC of potential markers showed no significant marker for HOMA‑IR. The highest area under the curve of ROC for TG belongs to the obese group with a sensitivity of 56% and specificity of 53% (TG ≥ 92.5mg/dL) as a marker of IR in obese PCOS women.
Conclusion: TG and TG/HDL‑C would not be reliable markers of IR, and a concerted approach in finding surrogate markers will benefit future  investigations.

Key words: Insulin resistance; Nigerian women; polycystic ovary syndrome; surrogate marker; triglyceride.


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eISSN: 0189-5117