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17-04-2012 | Cardiometabolic | Article

Neck circumference ‘useful screening tool’ for assessing CVD risk in children


Free abstract

MedWire News: Neck circumference may be a simple, low-cost, and practical screening tool for assessing cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in children, report researchers.

Odysseas Androutsos (University of Athens, Greece) and colleagues found that neck circumference was significantly associated with established CVD risk factors such as elevated insulin, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR).

These associations were comparable with those observed for other commonly used anthropometric indices (body mass index [BMI] z-score, waist circumference [WC], hip circumference [HC], waist-to-hip ratio [WHR], and waist-to-height ratio [WHtR]) in children, they say.

Neck circumference has recently been proposed as a surrogate marker of central obesity in children, explain the authors. However, the association between neck circumference and CVD risk factors has not been investigated.

To address this, Androutsos et al recruited 324 children aged 9-13 years who had complete demographic, anthropometric, and biochemical data available.

They found that neck circumference was positively associated with insulin and HOMA-IR, and negatively associated with HDL cholesterol, quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI), and fasting glucose to insulin ratio (FGIR) both in bivariate and multivariate analyses. This was also the case for all other anthropometric indices.

Moreover, in the multivariate regression model, all anthropometric indices were positively associated with systolic blood pressure and triglycerides, while neck circumference, WC, HC, and WHtR were associated with diastolic blood pressure.

Writing in Pediatric Obesity, the authors note that the associations between neck circumference and CVD risk factors were comparable with those observed for the other anthropometric indices.

"The main advantage of neck circumference is that [it] is a simple, quick, low-cost method that requires less effort from both the examiner and the examinee than other anthropometric methods," they say.

"In addition, the measurement of neck circumference may be more socially acceptable and convenient for overweight and obese children, thus making this measurement more tolerable for them," concludes the team.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Nikki Withers

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