Background and aims: It is uncertain whether neck circumference can be a risk indicator for subclinical atherosclerosis. We aimed to investigate their relationships measured by coronary artery calcium (CAC) and common carotid intima-media thickness (cc-IMT) with neck circumference in ELSA-Brasil.
Methods and results: In cross-sectional and sex-specific analyses of 2266 women (50.6 ± 8.4 yrs) and 1886 men (50.7 ± 9.0 yrs) with both cc-IMT and CAC, free from previous cardiovascular disease at baseline, we built logistic models using diverse cut-off points for CAC score (0 vs > 0, < 100 vs ≥ 100, < 400 vs ≥ 400 Agatston units) and cc-IMT (< 75 th percentile vs ≥ 75 th; <90th percentile vs ≥ 90 th) as dependent variables, after which adjustments for age and traditional cardiovascular risk factors were made. Mean neck circumference was 33.6 (± 2.4 cm) for women and 38.8 (± 2.6 cm) for men. In fully adjusted models including sociodemographic, cardiovascular risk factors and body-mass index and waist circumference, for each 1 standard deviation increase in neck circumference we found an odds ratio (OR, 95% CI) for IMT above the 75th percentile of (1.52, 1.16; 1.99) for women and (1.66, 1.28; 2.14) for men, and above the 90th cc-IMT percentile [1.66 (1.19; 2.32) for men but not for women [1.21 (0.80; 1.82)]. We found no association between neck circumference and CAC using different cut-off points (p > 0.05 for all).
Conclusion: Neck circumference was significantly and independently associated with cc-IMT but not with CAC in women and men, indicating a possible effect of perivascular fat tissue on atherosclerosis.
Keywords: Body fat distribution; Carotid artery diseases; Neck.
Copyright © 2016 The Italian Society of Diabetology, the Italian Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis, the Italian Society of Human Nutrition, and the Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Federico II University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.