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Obesity and Neck Circumference Size
Neck Measurement to Identify Overweight and Obese Patients
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Obesity & Neck Size - Study

Neck Circumference as a Simple Screening Measure for Identifying Overweight and Obese Patients

Obesity & Neck Study - Aim
There are numerous methods of assessing overweight and obesity. We undertook an observational study to test a method of identifying overweight or obese patients solely by measuring the circumference of the neck.

Obesity & Neck Study - Methods
A test sample and a second validation sample included 979 subjects (460 men and 519 women), who visited a family medicine clinic in a southern Israeli urban district for any reason between the randomly chosen months of January and September 1998. Main outcome included neck, waist, and hip circumferences; body mass index (BMI); and waist:hip ratio measures.

Obesity & Neck Study - Results
Pearson's correlation coefficients indicated a significant association between neck circumference (NC) and: BMI, age, weight, waist circumference, hip circumference, and waist:hip ratio. Neck circumference 37 cm for men and 34 cm for women were the best cutoff levels for determining the subjects with BMI 25.0 kg/m2 using the receiver output curve analysis. In the validation unrelated group, the test characteristics were excellent with 98 percent sensitivity, 89 percent specificity, and 94 percent accuracy for men, and 100 percent sensitivity, 98 percent specificity, and 99 percent accuracy for women. Neck circumference 39.5 cm for men and 36.5 cm for women were the best cutoff levels for determining the subjects with BMI 30 kg/m2 using the receiver output curve analysis. In the validation unrelated group, the test characteristics were excellent with 93 percent sensitivity, 90 percent specificity, and 91 percent accuracy for men, and 93 percent sensitivity, 98 percent specificity, and 97 percent accuracy for women.

Obesity & Neck Study - Issues
Neck circumference measurement is a simple and time-saving screening measure that can be used to identify overweight and obese patients. Men with neck circumference<37 cm and women with neck circumference<34 cm are not to be considered overweight. Patients with NC 37 cm for men and 34 cm for women require additional evaluation of overweight or obesity status.

Source: Tel Aviv University 2001

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