Ear Lobe Creases

I have heard of the connection between ear lobe creases and heart attacks and thought the crease may be indicative of the power of the individual’s heart to pump blood to “fill” the lobe, much like a new butterfly pumps blood into its wings to expand them to their fully flattened (and useful) state.

Maybe this is a chicken-and-egg debate. It’s possible that premature aging is responsible for ELC–as Cecil apparently believes–and that this is manifested in weaker blood flow to the ears due to a weaker heart or more constricted blood vessels preventing sufficient blood flow to the ear lobes. Or, it’s possible that the weaker heart–which was present in utero–contributes to premature aging.

Either way: I wonder if the ELC is simply related to the quality of blood flow to the ears as the fetus developed.

That raises some questions: When are ELCs first noticeable? Are some babies born with creases? When do they develop?

dfs1000, welcome to the Straight Dope Message Board! :slight_smile:

When posting a comment on one of Uncle Cecil’s columns, it helps to link the column under discussion, so that everyone knows which one your are poking. This can be done simply by pasting the url into your post like this: Are earlobe creases a sign of heart disease? - The Straight Dope

Or, you can use the link button to make it all shiny fancy like this: Are earlobe creases a sign of heart disease?

Again, welcome! :slight_smile:

A quick google search gives a couple useful links right off.

Here us a picture.

Here is another article discussing creases, causes, a connections to heart disease.

Interesting bits:



It was only yesterday (literally) that we learned that the way to a man’s heart may be through fat thighs:

I’ve read about this connection before and it’s interested me because I totally have those creases on both earlobes. Just one more thing to worry about.

Cecil Adams wrote “There are two kinds of earwax: gray, brittle, and dry; and brown, sticky, and wet. You produce just one kind or the other throughout your life — earwax type appears to be hereditary.”

I was pretty surprised to read this, I don’t know what sort of ear wax my parents have, but contrary to what Cecil says, I’ve noticed both types of wax in my ears (at different times). Usually my ears produce the brittle and dry type, but sometimes the other crops up.

Am I some kind of mutant? Can anyone shed any light on this?

Humble Servant, that article lead-in is confusing and could be interpreted to mean “the study shows increased risk for all thigh sizes”. I think what they meant was that 60 cm was a cut off, below was increased risk, but above it didn’t matter if they were 61 cm or 161 cm.

When a statistical test is carried out at 95% confidence, and virtually all of the tests behind these type of statistics are, there is a 1 in 20 chance of finding a false positive. If a million tests are carried out, one must expect at least 50,000 false positives. And when you are looking at studies trying to link things to heart disease, there have been many millions of tests done.

There will have been some large number of studies carried out that will have looked to show a link between ear lobe creases and heart disease, and most of them will have been composed of enough tests to ensure they produced false positives. Those false positives don’t mean anything.