Purpose: The triglyceride-glucose index (TyG index) is a marker of insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction and has the advantage of being universally available. Although recent evidence suggests the TyG index has relevance to respiratory health, there have been no prospective studies assessing its value as a biomarker for chronic lung diseases. We aim to assess the TyG index as a potential risk marker for future incident COPD events in the general population.

Patients and Methods: Baseline TyG index was assessed in 28,282 middle-aged men and women without previous history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) from the Malmö Preventive Project (men between 1974 and 1982 and women between 1982 and 1992). All subjects were followed up prospectively, and Cox proportional hazards regression was used to assess incident COPD events according to quartiles of TyG index.

Results: After an average of 31 years of follow-up, TyG index was a strong predictor of future COPD events even after adjusting for potential confounders (Q4 (highest TyG index) HR (95% CI): 1.21 (1.09-1.35) vs Q1 (reference), p-trend <0.001). After stratifying by sex, the results remained statistically significant in women only (Q4 vs Q1 HR 1.72 (1.41-2.09)). Additionally, the risk remained significant in a cohort of life-long never smokers (Q4 vs Q1 HR 1.47 (1.08-2.01)).

Conclusion: A raised TyG index is a novel risk marker of future incident COPD events in women. Insulin resistance as reflected by the TyG index can precede the development of obstructive lung disease and as such may be an easily measurable and useful predictor of COPD in women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1393-1401
JournalInternational journal of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 Zaigham et al.

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy

Free keywords

  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose/metabolism
  • Female
  • Glucose
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/diagnosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Triglycerides


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