Differences in the triglyceride to HDL-cholesterol ratio between Palestinian and Israeli adults

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© 2015 Weiss et al.Aims To evaluate differences in the triglyceride to HDL-cholesterol ratio (TG/HDL), thought to be a proxy measure of insulin resistance, between Palestinian and Israeli adults in view of the greater incidence of coronary heart disease and high prevalence of diabetes in Palestinian Arabs. Research Methods A population-based observational prevalence study of cardiovascular and diabetes risk factors in Jerusalem. Participants (968 Palestinians, 707 Israelis, sampled at ages 25-74 years) underwent fasting and 2h post-75g oral challenge plasma glucose determinations. Metabolic risk was assessed using the surrogate index TG/HDL. Sex-specific comparisons were stratified by categories of body mass index and sex-specific waist circumference quartiles, adjusted by regression for age, glucose tolerance status and use of statins. Results Prevalence of overweight and obesity was substantially larger in Palestinians (p = 0.005). Prevalence of diabetes was 2.4 and 4 fold higher among Palestinian men and women, respectively (p<0.001). Adjusted TG/HDL was higher in Palestinians than Israelis across BMI and waist circumference categories (p<0.001 for both). Higher TG/HDL in Palestinians persisted in analyses restricted to participants with normal glucose tolerance and off statins. Notably, higher TG/HDL among Palestinians prevailed at a young age (25-44 years) and in normal weight individuals of both sexes. Conclusions Palestinians have a higher TG/HDL ratio than Israelis. Notably, this is evident also in young, healthy and normal weight participants. These findings indicate the need to study the determinants of this biomarker and other measures of insulin resistance in urban Arab populations and to focus research attention on earlier ages: childhood and prenatal stages of development.




Weiss, R., Nassar, H., Sinnreich, R., & Kark, J. D. (2015). Differences in the triglyceride to HDL-cholesterol ratio between Palestinian and Israeli adults. PLoS ONE, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0116617

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