Bernhard Fink (2012)

Neck circumference: its usage in medicine and biology

In: Handbook of Anthropometry, pp. 665-675, Springer. (ISBN: 978-1-4419-1787-4).

Neck circumference, measured as the distance around the neck, is a simple and timesaving screening measure to identify obesity in both men and women. It is positively correlated with the components of the metabolic syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea. Furthermore, neck circumference is positively associated with traditional anthropometric measures of body circumferences and indices, such as the body mass index and the waist-to-hip ratio, and other physiological and biochemical measures of cardiovascular risk. It is positively correlated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides and glucose levels and has been used as a clinical predictor of menstrual irregularity, hirsutism, infertility, and insulin resistance. This has led to and increased interest in this measure with regard to its usefulness in clinical and epidemiological studies, but also from biological studies, interested in the possibility of an early predisposition for cardiovascular risk through early sex-steroid exposure. This chapter briefly reviews the reported associations with neck circumference and suggests possible applications also in non-clinical studies.