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December 2008 - Ear Lobe Crease May Indicate Artery Disease

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Many years ago, I heard about the possible connection between a crease in the earlobe and heart attacks or stroke. Recently a friend suddenly passed from a massive stroke and I recalled how he had a deep crease across his earlobe and high cholesterol. If you know of someone with this earlobe crease, the good news is, they can take action to hopefully prevent future health problems.

This article is from Patient Health International online July 5, 2004

The presence of a prominent crease across the earlobe may be a marker of hidden artery disease (atherosclerosis), say researchers.

Speaking at the World Stroke Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Dr E-G Kim, from Paik Hospital in Pusan, South Korea, and colleagues said: "The diagonal band of ear lobe crease [is] considered as an extracardiac physical sign, but it remains under-utilised in clinical practice, especially in stroke."

To determine whether ear lobe creasing may indicate the presence of artery disease, the researchers compared the results of tests that measured the movement of blood in the carotid arteries of 190 patients with a prominent ear lobe crease, and 190 without such creasing. Artery disease risk factors, such as blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine, were also measured.

The researchers found that patients with an ear lobe crease had a greater risk of heart attack and transient ischemic attack - a mild stroke of short duration - than those without such a crease. Furthermore, patients with ear lobe creases had higher levels of artery clogging substances called plaques and more severe narrowing of the carotid artery than the other participants.

There was no association between high cholesterol levels and ear lobe crease.

The researchers comment that the ear lobe crease is easy to identify, and that if this marker is found during examinations, then doctors should make prevention of cardiovascular disease a priority in such patients.

"Therefore, it is very important for... people to know about the clinical significance of the ear lobe crease that might be associated with carotid atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease," they comment.

Source: Patient Health International online July 5, 2004

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