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Atherosclerosis. 2007 Jun;192(2):428-31. Epub 2006 Oct 9.

Diagonal ear-lobe crease is associated with carotid intima-media thickness in subjects free of clinical cardiovascular disease.

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KTU Faculty of Medicine, Department of Cardiology, Trabzon, Turkey. <>



The diagonal ear-lobe crease (ELC) has been suggested as a simple marker of cardiovascular disease in the general population. There is no knowledge concerning the relation between carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), an index of subclinical atherosclerosis, and diagonal ELC. The aim of our study was to assess this relation.


The study population was prospectively selected from apparently healthy subjects. Sixty-five consecutive subjects with ELC and 65 age- and gender-matched control subjects without ELC were included in this study. These were examined by B-mode ultrasound to measure the IMT at the far wall of the common carotid artery. Subjects with ELC had significantly higher carotid IMT compared to control subjects without ELC (0.88+/-0.14 versus 0.69+/-0.14 mm, respectively, p=0.0001). The presence of ELC was independently associated with IMT in the multivariate logistic regression analysis. In addition, we detected a significant positive correlation between the presence of ELC and carotid IMT (r=0.558, p=0.0001).


We have shown for the first time an association between increased carotid IMT and diagonal ELC in apparently healthy subjects.

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