A comment at a recent meeting of my weight loss group sent me to the computer for a little research. The comment: “Dr. Oz said that if you have a diagonal crease in your ear lobe, you have a higher risk of heart disease.”
At first, I thought it sounded pretty crazy, but after looking into it a bit, I’m not sure. There is reputable research to support the claim. (I was hoping to find a bogus site with crazy claims, because, on inspection of my own ear lobes, I see that I do have a crease in both of them.)
Several studies found that the ear lobe creases were much more likely in people who died of heart disease. There are varied statistics given, depending on the study, but the presence of creases seems to be associated with a significantly higher risk.
Researchers speculate that it may have to do with blood flow restriction in the capillaries of the ear, supposedly indicating possible vessel problems elsewhere in the body. Some even say that it is a more accurate predictor of cardiovascular disease than family history, smoking, or cholesterol level. Wow! I hope not.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a source of information I have always respected, 90% of people with ear creases who complained of chest pain were diagnosed with heart attacks. Only 10% of those without creases who experienced similar pain symptoms were actually having heart attacks.
On the other side of the argument, ear creases tend to be associated with increasing age, which is also associated with a higher risk. Lifestyle still matters. It may be that diagonal ear lobe creases are an indicator of genetic risk, but not a signal of certain outcome.
I will continue to do all I can to balance life’s pleasures with a healthy lifestyle – and, I should add, to manage stress regarding health concerns! I plan to discuss this with my doctor at my next visit. In the meantime, I am not going to lose sleep over it. It is an interesting topic, and I do think it is worth staying tuned for updated research.
Coincidentally, when this information was shared with my group, we had just been discussing the benefits of apples, particularly for heart health. Ever since then, I have been an apple a day girl! There was a recent study that found a reduction in heart disease risk among women who ate an apple a day.