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Is there a correlation between ear creases and heart disease?

A:

Quick Answer

Although some medical studies have found contrary findings, the evidence is strong enough to link particular ear creases and heart disease, according to Healthline. A review of studies that researched the correlation found that ear creases are helpful in identifying patients with coronary artery disease.

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Full Answer

Most people have smooth earlobes, but some individuals have a diagonal crease or wrinkle that appears to divide their earlobe in half, Healthline reports. It was first reported in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine in 1973. The crease was dubbed Frank's sign, named after the letter writer.

A variety of studies have been conducted in the last 40 years to determine if Frank's sign is an indicator of heart disease, Healthline states. Several studies found a correlation, while others did not. Researchers theorize that some ethnic groups have earlobe creases that are a strong link to heart disease. Others postulate that both heart disease and earlobe creases become more common as people age and have nothing to do with each other.

A 2011 review of all the studies conducted to find a link between coronary artery disease and earlobe creases found that the marks are more indicative of heart problems that many traditional means, Healthline says. Doctors can follow up with tests to determine if heart disease is present.

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