Neck circumference as a marker of obesity and a predictor of cardiometabolic risk among Saudi subjects

Eman M. Alfadhli, Alaa A. Sandokji, Basma N. Zahid, Mohammed A. Makkawi, Reem F. Alshenaifi, Tafani S. Thani, Hanan A. Habeeb


Objectives: To determine the optimal cutoff value for neck circumference (NC) that define overweight/obesity and assess its predictive potential for cardiometabolic risks (CMR) among Saudi subjects. 


Methods: A cross sectional study of 785 adults recruited from a public health awareness campaign in Medina, Saudi Arabia during June 2015. Waist circumference (WC), NC, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure (BP), and random blood glucose (RBG) were assessed, and the presence of CMR were collected by a questionnaire. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were used to evaluate the associations of NC with other anthropometric indices and CMR. The optimal cutoff value for NC to identify overweight/obesity was determined by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves.


Results: There were significant correlations between NC and BMI, weight, WC, age, RBG, and BP. The area under the curve for NC and WC in the ROC analysis was 0.86 for men and 0.77 for women, and NC ≥39.25 cm for men and ≥34.75 cm for women were the best cutoff levels for identifying subjects with central obesity with an 89% sensitivity and a 71% specificity for men and an 80% sensitivity and a 65% specificity for women. These cutoff levels for NC were associated with a significantly increased risk for diabetes, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. 


Conclusion: Neck circumference is positively correlated with BMI and WC, and can be used to identify overweight/obesity and predict CMR in Saudi individuals. 

Saudi Med J 2017; Vol. 38 (12): 1219-1223
doi: 10.15537/smj.2017.12.20926

How to cite this article:
Alfadhli EM, Sandokji AA, Zahid BN, Makkawi MA, Alshenaifi RF, Thani TS, Habeeb HA.Neck circumference as a marker of obesity and a predictor of cardiometabolic risk among Saudi subjects. Saudi Med J. 2017 Dec;38(12):1219-1223. doi: 10.15537/smj.2017.12.20926.


Neck circumference; obesity; waist circumference; BMI; Saudi Arabia

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