Heart attack are very common around the world. Some people who are having a heart attack have warning signs, while others show no signs. Some symptoms of a heart attack include chest pain, upper body pain, sweating, nausea, fatigue or trouble breathing. The serious medical emergency could be avoided by knowing all of the signs and symptoms. Noticing this sign in your ear could mean you’re at risk.
A normal earlobe is usually smooth whereas an earlobe with a crease, fold, straight line or wrinkle that appears to cut the earlobe in half could mean you’re at risk of a heart attack.
In 1973, a physician called Sanders T. Frank had a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine describing 20 of his patients with an earlobe crease, who were under 60 years old, with angina and proven coronary artery blockages.
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Heart attack: Warning sign in your ear
This study was the first to describe such a possible association between heart disease and an earlobe crease.
After the initial report in 1973, a number of other reports surfaced.
From the 1970’s to 1990’s many studies reported the existence of an earlobe crest was more common in those having had a heart attack as compared to those that hadn’t.
Some smaller studies have even looked at the predictive significance of an earlobe crease.
One study followed 108 people and reported that patients with an earlobe crease were more likely to have cardiac events than those without.
Scientists aren’t sure how these two might be connected but there are several theories.
Degeneration of the elastic tissue around the small blood vessels that carry blood to the earlobes produces the earlobe crease.
This is the same type of change that happens with blood vessels associated with a coronary heart disease.
In other words, visible changes that show up in tiny blood vessels of the ear could indicate similar changes that can’t be seen, in those blood vessels around the heart.
Heart attack: Noticing a creased earlobe could be an early warning sign
Enough studies have established a connection between earlobe creases and heart disease.
A 2011 NYU School of Medicine student review of the study concluded that the presence of the diagonal earlobe crease has been recognised as a marker of coronary artery disease.
Subsequent studies confirmed the diagonal earlobe crease as a predictor of coronary artery disease of age, cholesterol, blood pressure or smoking status.
The NHS added: “Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of heart attacks.
Coronary heart disease is a condition in which the major blood vessels that supply the heart get clogged with deposits of cholesterol, known as plaques.
Before a heart attack, one of the plaques bursts causing a blood clot to develop at the site of the rupture.
The clot may block the supply of blood to the heart, triggering a heart attack.”
If you or someone you know may be worried about unusual symptoms and whether it could be a warning sign of a heart attack speak to your GP immediately.