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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1980 Apr;28(4):184-7.

Diagonal ear lobe crease and coronary risk factors.


The prevalence of ear lobe crease (ELC) was determined in 421 patients with myocardial infarction (MI) and in 421 controls. A higher prevalence (p less than 0.05) of ELC was found in MI patients (77 percent) in comparison to controls (40 percent), regardless of age. In addition, a higher prevalence was found in patients in whom MI was combined with diabetic retinopathy or hypertension, and in Ashkenazi Jews compared to non-Ashkenazi Jews. Ear lobe biopsies in 12 subjects revealed tears of the elastic fibers in all subjects with ELC, and prearteriole wall thickening in subjects with MI and/or ELC, but not in the 2 subjects with neither MI nor ELC. The early appearance of ELC may imply the existence of coronary heart disease with or without coronary risk factors.

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