Neck Circumference as an Indicator of Central Obesity in Healthy Young Bosnian Adults: Cross‑sectional Study

Zaciragic Asija, Elezovic Mehmed, Babic Nermina, Avdagic Nesina, Dervisevic Amela, Huskic Jasminko


Background: Neck circumference (NC) is an index of subcutaneous adipose tissue distribution in an area of the upper part of the body. The aim of this study was to assess whether NC can be used as an indicator of central obesity and to determine the prevalence of central obesity in apparently healthy Bosnian young adults.

Methods: Participants for this cross‑sectional study were recruited using the snowball method. NC was measured in horizontal straight position by
placing the top edge of a plastic tape only below the laryngeal prominence and perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the neck, with the head positioned in the Frankfort horizontal plane. Body mass index, waist circumference (WC), and waist‑to‑hip ratio were taken following the WHO

Results: The study included 111 second year University of Sarajevo Dentistry students (49 students of male gender and 62 students of the female gender). Determined the optimal cutoff value of NC in the detection of central obesity based on WC values in healthy young participants of male gender was ≥37.45 cm (P < 0.001), while in healthy young participants of the female gender, it was ≥32.75 cm (P < 0.001). Based on the WHO guidelines for WC, central obesity was determined in 24.49% (n = 12) of male patients, and in 29.03% (n = 18) of female participants included in our investigation (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: The results of the present study indicate that NC may be used as a screening tool for central obesity in healthy young adults. Prevalence of central obesity observed among student population suggests that there is a justifed need for an implementation of healthy lifestyle programs in this population that would have preventive purposes.

Keywords: Anthropometry, central obesity, gender difference, metabolic syndrome, young adults

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