Does a crease in the ear lobe mean heart problems?

February 11, 2009

A diagonal crease across your earlobe at a 45 degree downward angle toward your shoulder may be an early warning sign of a potentially fatal heart attack, according to reports in Modern Medicine (57,10:126) and British Heart Journal (611,4:361).

You might think we are pulling your umm ear, but, scientists have been studying the amazing ear-crease phenomenon since 1973 with inconclusive results until this research report. In this study, they found telltale ear creases in both fat and skinny people who died from sudden heart attacks, so weight was not a factor. The common denominator was sudden death, often in people who apparently did not know how sick they were.

In the current study, researchers randomly selected 303 people whose cause of death was unknown before autopsy. They found diagonal ear creases in 72 percent of the deceased men and 67 percent of the deceased women. Men with diagonal ear creases were 55 percent more likely to die of heart disease than men without ear creases. The risk was even greater for non-diabetic women (1.74 times more likely to die of heart disease). Interestingly, ear creases did not predict death from heart disease in diabetic women. Those with ear creases generally do not get them until after age 50, the reports say.

Obesity apparently does not influence whether people have ear creases, researchers say, because both fat and thin people have them in roughly equal numbers. However people with heart diseases seem to develop the creases, regardless of their age, they add.

The alarming thing was the link between ear creases and unexpected death. Many people in this study had died suddenly from heart attacks, but had no history of heart disease, the researchers say. In this group, earlobe creases alone were a greater predictor of sudden death from heart attack than known risk factors, such as previous heart disease, the studies report. That fact has led researchers to speculate that some doctors may be missing severe heart disease cases among some middle aged and elderly people. If that is the case, help yourself by checking your ears for diagonal creases.

If there is a crease, tell your doctor about the crease and these studies.

The idea is to catch unsuspected heart disease so you can get appropriate treatment from the health care practitioner of your choice.

This is just one of the fascinating facts that Ear Reflexologists learn in the Universal College of Reflexology’s Ear Reflexology Course, which is available either by home study or on campus.

A fully trained and competent Ear Reflexologist can immediately check sensitivity on the heart reflex areas in the ears (checking for positive and false positive signs) and work as appropriate to the clients comfort.


2 Responses to “Does a crease in the ear lobe mean heart problems?”

  1. robin on April 7th, 2014 7:47 am

    my husband had a heart attack 12 years ago and is on medication for heart disease. he has a crease in his earlobe. does this mean he will have another heart attack or just confirmation of his current condition?

  2. Lauren on April 9th, 2014 10:20 pm

    There are enough studies establishing a connection between earlobe creases and heart disease that if you have such a wrinkle on your ear, it’s worth taking seriously.

    First, check with your doctor. Most likely, they’ll conduct further tests to determine your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and other risk factors you may have. By taking everything—including your ears—into account, you’re more likely to create a clear overall picture of your risk and determine what steps you can take to protect your heart health.

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