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Do Earlobe Creases Indicate Heart Problems?

If you have ever heard that a crease in the earlobes - specifically one that runs diagonally - indicates an increased risk of heart disease, you aren’t alone. More than 30 studies over the past few decades have examined whether an earlobe crease is a sign of heart disease, indicative of cholesterol deposits in arteries, or means a higher than normal risk of heart trouble.

The good news is that there's no medical consensus on whether or not an earlobe crease is a meaningful marker for the presence of heart disease or a propensity toward it. Some studies have found an association between earlobe creases and heart disease and some have not, leading to the conclusion that the prevalence of earlobe creases probably increases with age, as does heart disease. So if you do have a creased earlobe, don’t fret - but it is prudent for everyone, creased lobes or not, to take preventive steps when it comes to heart disease: eat a heart healthy diet like my Anti-Inflammatory Diet; manage lifestyle risk factors such as not smoking and getting regular exercise; and know your personal history of heart disease and discuss it with your doctor.

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Reader Comments (4)

Very interesting. I have a very rare heart disease Giant Cell Myocarditis. I read this and reached up to find a prominent crese in both ears. Who knew?

August 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie Schofield

I've had earlobe creases since my 30's, perhaps earlier and now rapidly approaching 65 I've wondered about them...who knows the status of my coronary arteries, but the carotids, peripherals and abdominal are all without obvious plaque, via doppler, so extrapolating from this I hope for the best. Still able to shoot baskets three times per week with sprints up and down the court and am looking forward to the same in my 70's. We will see.

August 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWilliam Milligan M.D.

To muddy the water further some studies suggest that it is only bilateral creases that are significant (or not depending on who you read !) and that mono-lateral are due to sleeping habits.

October 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPete Deal Bsc FIBMS

So has anyone tried to show that if individuals with ear creases took an aggressive progam to avert heart disease (i.e., exercise, diet lowering cholesterol, etc) do the creases actually go away, or lessen ?

December 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterharry gambardella

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