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Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredA vertical crease in your ear lobe may signal a 33% increase in your risk for heart disease. Although the connection is still unclear, experts believe that some of the genetic factors that influence earlobe creases may also play a role in heart disease.
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Earlobe creases have been found to be a sign of some rare genetic syndromes. But are they also a sign of heart disease, which is common among the U.S. population? Currently, researchers are not sure.
Research studies over the past several decades have identified an increased risk of heart disease in patients with earlobe creases. However, some researchers theorize that the cause of heart disease in these patients is increased age, not a genetic predisposition marked by the earlobe creases: these creases are more common as people age.
One study in 2006 found that earlobe creases were strong predictors of coronary artery disease (the primary cause of heart attacks) in men and women and of sudden cardiac death in men. Risk was most pronounced in people who were under 40 years of age.
So what does this all mean? The science is inconclusive right now, but earlobe creases may indicate an increased risk of heart disease. If you have these creases, especially if you are a younger adult, you may wish to speak with your physician about assessing your cardiovascular disease risk. A physical exam, discussion about lifestyle and other proven risk factors such as body-mass index (BMI) and cholesterol levels, and tests can help identify existing heart disease.