Neck circumference: a potential anthropometric marker for screening of hypertension in adult population of central India

Niniya J., Chaitanya R. Patil, Prakash R. Bhatkule, Suresh N. Ughade, Uday W. Narlawar


Background: Upper-body subcutaneous adipose tissue, measured by neck circumference (NC), has been positively associated with hypertension (HT). This study was conducted with the objective to correlate and evaluate NC with HT and to define critical cut-off point for screening HT in adult population of central India.

Methods: This cross sectional study was carried out in the urban filed practice area of Government Medical College Nagpur. All patients attending OPD during study period, aged >30 years after applying exclusion criteria were included in study. Sample size was calculated to be 182. The socioeconomic details were assessed using questionnaire. Anthropometric measurements and blood pressure were recorded using standard guidelines. Data was analysed using Epi Info 7 and SPSS. Unpaired t test, Pearsons correlation and finally ROC analysis was done.

Results: Out of total 206 individuals, 107 were male; majority being aged >50 years. The mean value of NC was 36.43±3.23 cm and 34.84±4.07 cm in hypertensive and non-hypertensives respectively and was seen significantly associated with HT (p=0.02). Positive correlation was seen between SBP and NC in male r=0.27 and in females r=0.26 (p=0.001).On applying ROC, AUC for male and female was 0.652 (p=0.007) and 0.68 (p = 0.002) respectively and the best cutoff for male was 36.5cm and female was 33.5cm with sensitivity of 74% and 72.71% respectively.

Conclusions: NC is positively correlated with hypertension. NC >36.5cm for males and  >33.5cm for females was the best cut-off levels for screening for HT. NC could be a potential, inexpensive, easy screening tool for screening HT.


Adult population, Hypertension, Neck circumference, Screening tool

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