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The earlobe crease, coronary artery disease, and sudden cardiac death: An autopsy study of 520 individuals
Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of health and environment.
2006 (English)In: American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, ISSN 0195-7910, Vol. 27, no 2, 129-133 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The majority of previous studies have demonstrated a correlation between diagonal earlobe creases (ELC) and coronary artery disease (CAD).In this study of 520 forensic autopsy cases, the earlobes were studied and photographed before autopsy, and the existence of a diagonal ELC was noted in 55%. The cause of death, the degree of coronary atherosclerosis, aortosclerosis, and cerebrosclerosis, as well as heart, kidney, and spleen weights, were noted in each case. The body mass index (BMI), thickness of abdominal fat, baldness, and excessive hair in the meatus externa of the external ears were also assessed. Nonparametric methods were used in the statistical calculations.It was found that ELC was strongly correlated with CAD in both men and women (P < 0.0001) but with sudden cardiac death (SCD) only in men (P < 0.04). The sensitivity of the ELC sign was 75% and the positive predictive value (ppv) was 68%. In individuals below 40 years, the ppv was as high as 80%. Using multiple logistic regression analysis, ELC was found to be the strongest independent risk factor for CAD and SCD apart from age and BMI (both genders), as well as baldness and hair in the meatus externa (in males).It is concluded that in a patient population similar to that in the present study the ELC sign could be especially useful in screening for premature CAD in younger individuals. Copyright © 2006 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 27, no 2, 129-133 p.
Keyword [en]
Autopsy, Coronary artery disease, Earlobe crease, Forensic medicine, Sudden death
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-50217DOI: 10.1097/01.paf.0000221067.73173.d7OAI: diva2:271113
Available from: 2009-10-11 Created: 2009-10-11 Last updated: 2011-01-11

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Edston, Erik
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Faculty of Arts and SciencesDepartment of health and environment
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