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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Original investigation

Neck circumference and early stage atherosclerosis: the cardiometabolic risk in Chinese (CRC) study

Jun Liang1*, Yu Wang2, Hongyan Li2, Xuekui Liu1, Qinqin Qiu2 and Lu Qi34*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Endocrinology, Xuzhou Central Hospital, Xuzhou Clinical School of Xuzhou Medical College, Xuzhou Institute of Medical Sciences, Xuzhou Institute of Diabetes, Affiliated Hospital of Southeast University, 199# South Jiefang Road, Xuzhou 221009, Jiangsu, China

2 Xuzhou Medical College, Xuzhou 221009, Jiangsu, China

3 Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Ave, Boston 02115, Massachusetts

4 Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

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Cardiovascular Diabetology 2014, 13:107  doi:10.1186/s12933-014-0107-x

Published: 8 July 2014



Neck circumference (NC) has been previously related to cardiometabolic risk factors. In this study we examined the association between NC and early stage atherosclerosis in Chinese adults.


The study samples were from a community-based health examination survey in central China. In total 2,318 men and women (18-64 y) were included in the final analyses. Carotid radial pulse wave velocity (crPWV), carotid femoral PWV (cfPWV), carotid artery dorsalis pedis PWV (cdPWV) and NC were measured.


After adjustment for age, sex, lipids, glucose, blood pressure, heart rate, body mass index (BMI), high NC was significantly associated with an increasing trend of cfPWV, cdPWV and crPWV (P = 0.001, 0.049, and 0.038; respectively). In addition, we found significant interaction between hypertension status and NC level in relation to cfPWV, adjusted for age, sex, BMI, fasting glucose, lipids and heart rate(P for interaction = 0.034). The associations between NC and cfPWV were significant (P = 0.02) among those with hypertension, but not significant among those without hypertension.


Our data showed that high NC was associated with an increased risk of early stage atherosclerosis in Chinese adults, independent of other metabolic risk factors. Hypertension might modify the association between NC and cfPWV.

Neck circumference; Early stage atherosclerosis; Pulse wave velocity