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Am J Med. 1995 Oct;99(4):356-61.

Earlobe crease in women: evaluation of reproductive factors, alcohol use, and Quetelet index and relation to atherosclerotic disease.

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Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0560, USA.



The diagonal earlobe crease (ELC) has been found to be associated with atherosclerotic heart disease. Although atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is less prevalent among women than among men, no studies have been reported for women on the possible relationship of reproductive factors, contraceptive and menopausal estrogen use, and alcohol use on the expression of the ELC.


The presence of ELC was determined in 625 white women who were seen as part of a breast research project. Information was obtained on age, height, weight, age at menarche, parity, age at first full-term pregnancy, use of oral contraceptives or menopausal estrogens, alcohol consumption, and smoking. Statistical methods used included estimation of the age-adjusted odds ratios and their 95% confidence intervals, and multiple logistic regression.


No association was found between the ELC and reproductive factors and smoking. Only age, Quetelet index, and alcohol use were associated with the ELC. The ELC was negatively associated with alcohol use, and was more marked in women under 59 years of age. The positive association of ELC with the Quetelet index progressively became more marked with advancing age, especially after 60 years of age.


The negative association found between the ELC and alcohol use is of interest because of the reported protective effect of moderate alcohol consumption on risk of coronary heart disease. No significant association was found between the ELC and reproductive risk factors. Based on events occurring during the embryonic development of the earlobes, a new hypothesis is proposed for the formation and peculiar diagonal localization of the ELC in adult earlobes in association with atherosclerotic vascular disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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