Did Dumbo suffer a heart attack? independent association between earlobe crease and cardiovascular disease

BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2016 Jan 20;16:17. doi: 10.1186/s12872-016-0193-7.

Abstract

Background: Earlobe crease (ELC) has been associated with cardiovascular diseases (CVD) or risk factors (CVRF) and could be a marker predisposing to CVD. However, most studies studied only a small number of CVRF and no complete assessment of the associations between ELC and CVRF has been performed in a single study.

Methods: Population-based study (n = 4635, 46.7% men) conducted between 2009 and 2012 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Results: Eight hundred six participants (17.4%) had an ELC. Presence of ELC was associated with male gender and older age. After adjusting for age and gender (and medication whenever necessary), presence of ELC was significantly (p < 0.05) associated with higher levels of body mass index (BMI) [adjusted mean ± standard error: 27.0 ± 0.2 vs. 26.02 ± 0.07 kg/m(2)], triglycerides [1.40 ± 0.03 vs. 1.36 ± 0.01 mmol/L] and insulin [8.8 ± 0.2 vs. 8.3 ± 0.1 μIU/mL]; lower levels of HDL cholesterol [1.61 ± 0.02 vs. 1.64 ± 0.01 mmol/L]; higher frequency of abdominal obesity [odds ratio and (95% confidence interval) 1.20 (1.02; 1.42)]; hypertension [1.41 (1.18; 1.67)]; diabetes [1.43 (1.15; 1.79)]; high HOMA-IR [1.19 (1.00; 1.42)]; metabolic syndrome [1.28 (1.08; 1.51)] and history of CVD [1.55 (1.21; 1.98)]. No associations were found between ELC and estimated cardiovascular risk, inflammatory or liver markers. After further adjustment on BMI, only the associations between ELC and hypertension [1.30 (1.08; 1.56)] and history of CVD [1.47 (1.14; 1.89)] remained significant. For history of CVD, further adjustment on diabetes, hypertension, total cholesterol and smoking led to similar results [1.36 (1.05; 1.77)].

Conclusion: In this community-based sample ELC was significantly and independently associated with hypertension and history of CVD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Ear Auricle / anatomy & histology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity, Abdominal / epidemiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Switzerland / epidemiology
  • Triglycerides / blood

Substances

  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Insulin
  • Triglycerides