Can neck circumference predict cardiovascular risk in clinical practice?


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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New research suggests that neck circumference has a high capacity to predict cardiovascular risk (CVR). 

For the study, researchers examined data on 4,607 adults aged 18 years and over from the Chilean National Health Survey 2009-2010 to evaluate the predictive capacity of neck circumference to detect CVR compared with waist circumference. 

The authors found that while waist circumference had a better capacity to predict moderate/high CVR than neck circumference in men, for women, the difference was not significant. Neck circumference showed a higher sensitivity in men and a similar sensitivity in women, compared with waist circumference, but it showed lower specificities in both genders. Within this specific population, the best performance of neck circumference to predict moderate/high CVR was obtained with cut-off points of 37 cm for men and 32 cm for women.  

Presenting the findings in the BMJ Open, the authors said the ability of neck circumference to predict CVR risk “appears as an opportunity to use it in clinical practice when waist circumference measurement is difficult to measure” and to “eventually replace the waist circumference measurement as the technique is easier."