Alterations in wall shear stress contribute to both clinical and subclinical atherosclerosis. Several conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity can impair shear stress, but the role of insulin resistance has never been investigated. The present study was designed to investigate whether insulin resistance assessed by TyG Index associates with wall shear stress in the common carotid artery.
One hundred six individuals were enrolled. Blood pressure, lipids, glucose, and cigarette smoking were evaluated. TyG Index was calculated as log[fasting triglycerides × fasting glucose / 2]. Subjects underwent blood viscosity measurement and echo-Doppler evaluation of carotid arteries to calculate wall shear stress. The association between TyG Index and carotid wall shear stress was assessed by simple and multiple regression analyses.
TyG Index was significantly and inversely associated with carotid wall shear stress both in simple (r = −0.44, P < 0.001) and multiple regression analyses accounting for age, sex, and major cardiovascular risk factors. The association was further confirmed after exclusion of subjects with diabetes, dyslipidemia, fasting blood glucose greater than 100 mg/dL, and triglycerides greater than 150 mg/dL.
The present findings suggest that increasing insulin resistance, as assessed by TyG Index, associates with atherosclerosis-prone shear stress reduction in the common carotid artery.