Abstract MP65: Clinical Correlation of Neck Circumference and Carotid-Wall Intima-Media Thickness
Background: Ectopic fat depots may have direct paracrine effects on local vasculature. Neck circumference is a proxy for upper body subcutaneous fat, a distinct fat depot that encases the carotid arteries. We tested whether neck circumference is associated with carotid intima media-thickness (IMT) above and beyond other adiposity measures.
Methods: Participants were drawn from the Framingham Heart Study offspring (n=3,339, mean age 59 years, 53% women) who had previously undergone neck circumference measurement and carotid ultrasound. Neck circumference was measured using a tape measure to the nearest quarter inch. BMI and waist circumference were measured using standard criteria. Intima-media interface lines were manually traced on digital images using a work station. IMT of the internal carotid artery (ICA) and common carotid artery (CCA) were automatically processed to provide an IMT calculation. Multivariable linear regression models were used to determine the cross-sectional association between neck circumference and IMT. All regression models were adjusted for traditional cardiovascular risk factors.
Results: The mean neck circumference in women was 34.5 cm (Standard deviation [SD] 2.8) and 40.6 cm (SD 2.9) in men. A one SD increase in neck circumference was associated with a 0.071 mm (standard error [SE] 0.023, p=0.001) increment increase of the ICA, which remained significant after additional adjustment for body mass index (BMI). Neither BMI nor waist circumference were associated with increased IMT in the ICA. Neck circumference, BMI and waist circumference were all associated with IMT in the CCA but only neck circumference remained significant after accounting for multiple adiposity measurements.
Conclusion: Neck circumference is associated with carotid IMT beyond that of BMI and waist circumference. Neck circumference, a proxy of upper body subcutaneous fat, is uniquely associated with carotid IMT suggesting that this fat depot may act locally to contribute to obesity mediated vascular disease.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.