Neck circumference positively relates to cardiovascular risk factors in college students

Oluremi A. Famodu, Makenzie L. Barr, Sarah E. Colby, Wenjun Zhou, Ida Holásková, Miriam P. Leary, Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, Anne E. Mathews, Melissa D. Olfert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between neck circumference (NC) and other anthropometric measures and examine cut-off points for males and females according to existing waist circumference cut-off levels in this age group. Across 8 universities, 1562 students underwent a physical assessment. Spearman rho correlations (ρ) were calculated to determine associations between NC and other continuous variables of health. Receiving operating characteristic curves were constructed to assess the optimal cut-off levels of NC of males and females with central obesity. Participants were predominantly Caucasian (67%), female (70%), and outside of Appalachia (82%). Forty-one percent of males and 34% of females had a BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2. In both sexes, significant positive correlations were seen between NC and body weight, BMI, waist circumference, hip circumference, and systolic blood pressure (all p-values < 0.0001). NC ≥ 38 cm for males and ≥33.5 cm for females were the optimal cut-off values to determine subjects with central obesity. NC has been identified to closely correlate with other anthropometric measurements related to disease and could be used as a convenient, low-cost, and noninvasive measurement in large-scale studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1480
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 13 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


  • Neck circumference
  • Obesity
  • Risk factor
  • Young adult

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