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thick ear lobes:

While cholesterol and fats are being deposited in the inner lining of the arteries, causing arterial plaque to get thicker and thicker, cholesterol and fats are also commonly deposited in the ear lobes, making them thicker.

Do you have thick ear lobes?

Don't become a statistic. Get tested before it's too late. Click the "I have thick ear lobes" button below.

At CardioSound, we can tell you what level of risk you carry. Testing requires a genetic blood test (which we can do anywhere in the U.S.) and then a trip to Atlanta, Georgia. If your risk is high, then we can help you. Or we can help your local doctor reduce your risk.

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Do you have a crease in your ear lobes?

Eventually, as people get older, their thick ear lobes can develop a diagonal crease, called “Frank’s crease” or “Frank’s sign (1).” By the time Frank’s sign appears, there is an extremely strong association with heart disease. This study (2) found that 78% of people with Frank’s ear lobe crease had heart disease. An autopsy study in Sweden also found a strong association with coronary disease and sudden cardiac death (3).

do you know someone with thick ear lobes? Or someone with a crease in their ear lobes?

Ask them the question: "Are you CardioSound?" Or send them a link to this page. You just might save a life.

other causes of thick ear lobes:

Thick ear lobes (especially if only one side is thick) can be caused by infection. Is the ear lobe red or warm to the touch or tender? If so, see your health care provider..  

Allergies to metals in ear jewelry can also cause inflammation of the ear lobes, typically (but not always) on both sides.

this is only one risk factor:

Although having thick ear lobes is one risk factor for heart disease, the absence of thick ear lobes does not necessarily lower your risk. The absence of Frank’s ear lobe crease does not mean you do not have heart disease. Lots of people with normal ear lobes have heart attacks.

References:

  1. Dr. Frank first described the association between ear lob creases and coronary risk factors. 19 of 20 patients with ear lobe creases had at least one risk factor for coronary disease. Frank ST Aural sign of coronary artery disease. N Engl J Med 1973;289:327-8

  2. This study of 430 patients with no known coronary disease showed that diagonal ear lobe creases predicted the presence, extent and severity of coronary disease with 78% sensitivity. Compare that to a nuclear stress test, which predicts severe coronary disease with 80% sensitivity (and costs a lot more). Haim Shmilovich , et. al. Relation of Diagonal Ear Lobe Crease to the Presence, Extent, and Severity of Coronary Artery Disease Determined by Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography The American Journal of Cardiology, Volume 109, Issue 9, 2012, 1283 - 1287

  3. Edston E., et al. The earlobe crease, coronary artery disease, and sudden cardiac death: an autopsy study of 520 individuals. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 2006;27:129-33