Earlobe Creases and Other Signs of Aging

The link between earlobe creases and heart disease surfaced again in the media recently.  A report from the University of Copenhagen study noted significant associations between ear creases, along with several other visible signs of aging, and heart disease.

This is not a new discovery, and I have mentioned it in a previous post.  Some scientists believe simple physical assessments like this could help identify those at higher risk.  Other signs that appear significant are male pattern baldness, deep wrinkles, and fatty deposits on the eyelids.

My Earlobe Crease

Is it cause for alarm if you have a crease in your earlobe?  I hope not, as I have one on my left ear.  Then again, I am in my 50’s, and signs of aging do tend to emerge over time.  Sun damage is usually more evident on the left side of the face too, since most of us spend a significant amount of time driving a car.

Based on the Framingham risk score, I am at low risk, and detailed blood work looks good, so I just keep doing what I’m doing.  It seems to be working.  Besides, I’m not aware of any way to remove ear creases once they are present.  How could removing them (plastic surgery?) help anyway?!

I also remind myself that worry and fear are not good for anyone.  Stress takes a physical toll on the human body.  I believe balance is key:  Be responsible in your self care, but not obsessively so (translation:  Do not over-worry!).  There are many factors that affect heart disease risk, and no one truly has a fail-safe way of predicting who will be affected.

Eat well, move, and manage the stress of everyday life.  Create happiness.  Worry less.  Be present more often.  Ahh . . . that was easy to write, but oh so difficult to accomplish.  We are all a work in progress!

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8 responses to “Earlobe Creases and Other Signs of Aging

  1. On that note, “Living in the Moment” by Jason Mraz is my new favorite “be happy, don’t worry” song. Thanks!!

  2. I just noticed I have ear crease. I am 62 years young and I am watchful about my diet. As you noted, my left ear crease is more pronounced. My yearly physical is in a couple weeks and of course now I want a stress test. I am trying to stay in the moment, it is difficult. Thank you for your insight.

    Alexis L

    • No need for panic simply because of an ear lobe crease, Alexis. I do not know anything about any risk factors you may have, but this alone is no reason to have any extensive tests done. You are 62, and I know wrinkles of all sorts are more likely as we age – bummer! I do think the left side of the face is also more likely to get more sun and hence more wrinkles. Breathe! You are most likely fine.

  3. Hi Kim and all. I am 60, and I noticed about six months ago that I now have the crease in both earlobes. I mentioned it to my doctor last week on a routine visit, and he is now sending me for ultrasound on carotids and aorta Hard as I try not to, I admit that I’m freaking out over this. I am not overweight, have never been a smoker, and am a very healthful eater. BUT…because of severe asthma which flares up terribly with exercise, I am quite sedentary. I have read recently–more and more frequently–that sedentary lifestyle is the single most important contributing factor to heart disease. I am truly terrified that this fact has now caught up with me.
    Thank you, Kim for your informative blog.

  4. Linda, I know how easy it can be to start “freaking out” about health worries, but usually these are unwarranted. There is SO much information available via the internet, and not all is well documented. As for the ear crease, from what I have read, this is certainly not a universally accepted diagnostic symptom.

    You have not mentioned any other risk factors (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes) other than the sedentary lifestyle. Do you have other risk factors your doctor is concerned about?

    I know that activity is important, but even standing more can help reduce risk. Walking slow, if this is an option for you, would also be very helpful. Activity does not have to be vigorous to be helpful.

    Most importantly, I think stress connected with health worries is increasing with the ready access to health information – both reliable and bogus. You are certainly not alone here. I have felt this personally on occasion, and I have seen it in family members, friends, and clients.

    I would recommend taking a deep breath and trying to put all of this into perspective. Since I do not have your complete medical history, I cannot comment on whether or not ultrasound testing is the common next step in your case. Maybe your doctor is trying to give you some piece of mind by recommending these tests?

    Try not to worry too much. Most health worries are needless.

  5. Tham Wai Keong

    Hello Kim,

    I too have a left earlobe crease. I noted that the crease first emerged after my
    surgery for hemorrhoids way back in December 2003. I believe that is because
    general anesthesia tends to cause ischemia of the coronary arteries.

    If you note the following studies, ear lobe creases are indicative of atherosclerosis
    and independent of all other usual cardiovascular risk factors.

    The risk is higher if one has a periauricular crease as well, as shown in the
    Brazilian study.

    ” DELC was independently and significantly associated with increased prevalence,
    extent, and severity of CAD. ”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22335855

    “The presence of a previous cardiovascular disease was not as strongly associated
    with cardiovascular causes of death as the presence of an earlobe crease alone.
    This suggests that cardiovascular disease was being underdiagnosed in the population. ”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1216678/

    ” ELC was strongly correlated with CAD in both men and women but
    with sudden cardiac death (SCD) only in men.

    ” ELC was found to be the strongest independent risk factor for CAD and SCD.”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/16738431

    ” Patients with ELCs may be at higher risk for coronary events, and might be
    especially cautioned to control or reduce other cardiac risk factors, even if currently
    without diagnostic evidence of CAD. ”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/1892144/

    ” The early appearance of ELC may imply the existence of coronary
    heart disease with or without coronary risk factors. ”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/7365179

    ” The study detected a positive association between bilateral diagonal earlobe
    crease and bilateral preauricular crease with coronary artery disease. The
    simultaneous finding of both folds had high predictivity for coronary artery disease. ”

    http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S0365-05962006000100003&script=sci_arttext&tlng=en

  6. The studies are certainly interesting. I just continue to live right, since I have no risk factors to speak of. There’s not really much else to do. Worrying only adds to risk, and it saps joy out of life. Do you have any risk factors?

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