The association of neck circumference with incident congestive heart failure and coronary heart disease mortality in a community-based population with or without sleep-disordered breathing

BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2018 May 31;18(1):108. doi: 10.1186/s12872-018-0846-9.


Background: Neck circumference (NC), representing upper body subcutaneous adipose tissue, may be correlated with increased risk of overweight/obesity, obstructive sleep apnoea, and metabolic and cardiovascular disease. However, the relationship between NC and the incidence of congestive heart failure (CHF) or mortality due to coronary heart disease (CHD) in a community-based population with and without sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) has not yet been clarified.

Methods: We performed a prospective study using the Sleep Heart Health Study (SHHS) cohort. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate the association of different levels of NC with CHF incidence or CHD mortality in 2234 individuals with SDB and 2199 without SDB, respectively.

Results: After adjusting for age, sex, and body mass index (BMI), NC was significantly associated with CHF when comparing the highest NC quartile group with the lowest (hazard ratio, HR, 2.265, 95% confidence interval, CI, 1.074-4.777) in the non-SDB population. This association diminished after further adjustment for other risk factors, but remained statistically significant, with an adjusted HR of 1.082 (95% CI 1.003-1.166) per unit increase in NC. Additionally, after adjustment for age, sex, and BMI, NC was also shown to be remarkably associated with CHD mortality (HR 1.141, 95% CI 1.014-1.282) per unit increase in NC in the non-SDB population but not in the SDB population. After adjustment for all the covariates, there was a significant association between NC and CHD death in those without SDB, with an adjusted HR of 1.134 (95% CI 1.001-1.284) per unit increase in NC.

Conclusions: NC may correlate with CHF incidence and CHD mortality in population without SDB. NC measurement may help risk stratification for cardiovascular diseases.

Trial registration: NCT00005275 , January 1994.

Keywords: Congestive heart failure; Coronary heart disease; Mortality; Neck circumference; Sleep-disordered breathing.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • China / epidemiology
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis
  • Coronary Artery Disease / epidemiology*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / mortality
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck / pathology*
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / mortality
  • Time Factors

Associated data