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Ir Med J. 1992 Dec;85(4):131-2.

Ear lobe crease and coronary heart disease.

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  • 1Dept of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Trinity College Medical School, St James's Hospital, Dublin 8.


Two hundred and forty seven consecutive patients admitted to an acute general hospital were studied. The presence of an association between the ear lobe crease (ELC) and ischaemic heart disease, hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia, peripheral vascular disease, cerebrovascular disease and smoking was investigated. The association between an ELC and coronary heart disease was found to be significant. There was no significant difference between the prevalence of ear lobe creases in males versus females and no correlation between ear lobe creases and smoking, hypercholesterolaemia, hypertension, peripheral vascular disease or stroke was found. Despite having a low sensitivity the specificity of an ear lobe crease is 94% which suggests that it should be used as a physical sign predictive of the presence of coronary heart disease rather than a diagnostic test.

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