Relationship between changes in neck circumference and cardiovascular risk factors

Exp Clin Cardiol. 2006 Spring;11(1):14-20.


Objective: Neck circumference (NC) is a simple screening measure for identifying overweight and obese patients. The main aim of the present study was to determine the relationship between changes in NC and changes in cardiovascular risk factors by evaluating some components of the metabolic syndrome.

Methods: The present longitudinal cohort study included 364 subjects (155 men and 209 women) with no known major medical conditions and who were not receiving any medication. Main indicators included NC, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, body mass index, and fasting lipoprotein, glucose and uric acid levels.

Results: Pearson's correlation coefficients indicated a significant association between changes in NC and changes in body mass index (men, r=0.67; women, r=0.69; each, P<0.0001), waist circumference (men, r=0.69; women, r=0.56; each, P<0.0001), waist-to-hip ratio (men, r=0.27; women, r=0.33; each, P<0.0001), and total cholesterol (men, r=0.68; women, r=0.64; each, P<0.0001), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (men, r=0.58; women, r=0.59; each, P<0.0001), triglyceride (men, r=0.48; women, r=0.44; each, P<0.0001), glucose (men, r=0.51; women, r=0.44; each, P<0.0001) and uric acid (men, r=0.42; women, r=0.47; each, P<0.0001) levels. The relative changes in NC contributed to independent significant changes in total cholesterol (8% for men and 1% for women), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (1% for men and 1% for women) and triglycerides (23% for men); it did not significantly contribute to changes in high density lipoprotein cholesterol, glucose or uric acid levels.

Conclusion: Changes in NC are positively correlated with changes in some factors of the metabolic syndrome and, therefore, are correlated with changes in the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Keywords: Anthropometry; Coronary artery disease; Neck circumference; Risk factors.