Asian / Pacific Island Nursing Journal

Corresponding Author

Guang-Ran Yang & Dongmei Li


Aims: Neck circumference (NC) was found to be related to the risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD). However, the effects of NC on CHD are still controversial. To evaluate the relationship between NC and CHD, a meta-analysis of observational studies was performed.

Method: Eligible studies on the association between NC and CHD were searched in Medline, Embase, Ovid, and Web of Science databases published in English from January 1980 to December 2016. Moreover, studies published in Chinese in Wanfang and China Hospital Knowledge databases were also searched. Random effects models in the metafor package in statistical analysis software R 3.3.3 were used for the meta-analysis. Heterogeneity was analyzed with Q statistics.

Results: Eight studies were selected for the meta-analysis. A larger NC was associated with a higher prevalence of CHD (OR = 1.18, 95% CI 1.04–1.34, p = 0.0108). The eight studies were further divided into three subgroups according to the criteria for diagnosing CHD. In the subgroup of coronary angiography, NC was also found to be associated with the prevalence of CHD with low heterogeneity (OR = 1.17, 95% CI 1.07–1.28, p = 0.0007, I2 = 17.02%). However, in the subgroup of computed tomography or past history, no association between NC and CHD was found. In addition, subgroup analyses were also conducted according to the regions of the study. No association between NC and CHD was identified in either Chinese studies or Brazil studies (OR = 1.20, 95% CI 0.96–1.49; OR = 1.31, 95% CI 0.82–2.09, respectively).

Conclusion: Larger NC is associated with increased risk of CHD, especially when coronary angiography was taken to diagnose CHD.