Neck Circumference: A Possible Predictor of Metabolic Disorders in the Hospital Setting

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Community Nutrition, Faculty of Nutrition Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, I.R. Iran.

2 Nutrition Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, I.R. Iran.


Introduction: Malnutrition is considered to be a severe complication in hospitalized patients, which increases the length of hospital stay, treatment costs, and mortality. The present study aimed to evaluate neck circumference as a possible predictor of metabolic disorders in the hospital settings. Methods: This study was conducted on 300 hospitalized patients selected from the internal disease ward of Imam Reza Hospital in Tabriz, Iran. Data were recorded on their demographic characteristics, medical history, medication use, and anthropometric and biochemical parameters. Dietary supplementation use, nutritional support, and physical activity (PA) were also measured using the subjective global assessment tool, and neck circumference (NC) was measured by the researcher. Data analysis was performed in SPSS version 16.0. Results: In total, 61.8% of the male and 65.9% of the female patients had an NC of equal to or higher than normal. Chi-square was applied to assess the categorical variables, and one-way ANOVA was used for the continuous variables, indicating significant correlations between the NC and gender, body mass index, marital status, occupation status, PA, current nutritional status, and medical history such as diabetes mellitus (DM), hypertension (HTN), and renal disorders, as well as the use of some medications (p <0.05). Furthermore, significant correlations were denoted between the NC and levels of albumin (P=0.025), mean corpuscular volume (P=0.001), and total bilirubin (P=0.034). Systolic blood pressure was also significantly correlated with the NC (P=0.033). Conclusion: NC represents a relatively new anthropometric assessment, which is rarely used in clinical practice, while it is easy to perform and has excellent reproducibility. Our findings indicated that NC, DM, and HTN were correlated. Further studies are suggested to establish accurate associations between NC and metabolic disorders and confirm their correlations with biochemical factors.


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