Objective: To determine a relationship between neck circumference (NC) and risk factors for coronary heart disease by evaluating the components of the metabolic syndrome.
Research Methods and Procedures: The study group included 561 subjects (231 men and 330 women) who had no known major medical conditions and were not receiving any medication therapy. The subjects were those who attended a family health clinic for any reason between 1998 and December 2001. Main indicators studied included NC, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, body mass index, blood pressure, and lipoprotein, glucose, and uric acid levels.
Results: Pearson's correlation coefficients indicated a significant association between NC and body mass index (men, r = 0.71; women, r = 0.81; each, p < 0.0001), waist circumference (men, r = 0.75; women, r = 0.79; each, p < 0.0001), waist-to-hip ratio (men, r = 0.56; women, r = 0.63; each, p < 0.0001), total cholesterol (men, r = 0.50; women, r = 0.66; each, p < 0.0001), low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (men, r = 0.42; women, r = 0.60; each, p < 0.0001), triglycerides (men, r = 0.48; women, r = 0.49; each, p < 0.0001), glucose (men, r = 0.21, p < 0.001; women, r = 0.44; p < 0.0001), uric acid (men, r = 0.50, p < 0.0001; women, r = 0.60, p < 0.001), and systolic (men, r = 0.53; women, r = 0.69; each, p < 0.0001), and diastolic (men, r = 0.55; women, r = 0.65; each, p < 0.0001) blood pressure.
Discussion: Higher NC is correlated positively with the factors of the metabolic syndrome; therefore, it is likely to increase the risk of coronary heart disease.