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Objective: To investigate the association between hypertriglyceridemic waist (HTGW) and insulin sensitivity (assessed by euglycemic clamp method), and the development of diabetes in a longitudinal community-based cohort of elderly men without diabetes at baseline.

Design and Methods: The present cross-sectional study comprised 1,026, 70-year-old men without diabetes. The gold standard euglycaemic–hyperinsulinaemic clamp technique was used. Six-year follow-up on diabetes status were available in n = 667. The HTGW phenotype was defined as having waist circumference ≥ 90 cm, and triglycerides ≥ 2 mmol L−1. The men were stratified into those having normal WC and TG (n = 299), one HTGW component (n = 606), and HTGW (n = 121).

Results: The association between insulin sensitivity and one HTGW component as well as HTGW was highly significant (P < 0.001) in the whole sample, as well as in individuals with high/low BMI (stratified at ≥25). In longitudinal analyses, participants with HTGW was associated with a more than fourfold increased risk for diabetes (Odds ratio 4.64, 95% CI 1.61–13.4, P = 0.004) compared to those with normal WC and TG.

Conclusion: The present study both confirm and extend previous research suggesting that the HTGW-phenotype portrays an increased glucometabolic risk, also in lean individuals.