Relationship Between Earlobe Crease and Brachial-ankle Pulse Wave Velocity in Non-hypertensive, Non-diabetic Adults in Korea

Department of Family Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Severance Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Epidemiology and health 10/2009; 31:e2009002. DOI: 10.4178/epih/e2009002
Source: PubMed


Several studies have found a significant association between the presence of earlobe crease (ELC) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Brachial-ankle Pulse Wave Velocity (baPWV) is a non-invasive and useful measure of arterial stiffness predicting cardiovascular events and mortality. However, few studies have reported the relationship between ELC and baPWV as a new measure of arterial stiffness. The purpose of this study was to determine whether ELC is related to baPWV in non-diabetic, non-hypertensive, and apparently healthy Korean adults.
A cross-sectional study was conducted on 573 non-hypertensive, non-diabetic Korean adults aged 20-80 yr. Subjects were stratified into three groups according to gender and menopausal status. baPWV was measured by an automatic waveform analyser. The association between ELC and baPWV was assessed by multiple linear regression analysis after adjusting for conventional cardiovascular disease risk factors including age, gender, blood pressure, lipid profile, and smoking status etc.
The overall frequency of ELC was 19.02% and the subjects with ELC showed significantly higher mean baPWV (p<0.0001). Multiple linear regression of subjects revealed that the presence of ELC was independently associated with baPWV (male, p<0.0001; premenopausal female p=0.0162; postmenopausal female p=0.0208).
ELC had a significant correlation with baPWV, independently controlling for other classical cardiovascular risk factors in adults aged 20 yr or older. ELC is an important surrogate marker of increased arterial stiffness as measured by baPWV in Korean adults.

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    • "Embryologic and vascular supply disorders are also suggested by the same genetically originated end-arterioles and similar leukocyte antigen subtypes for both DELC and CAD [33]. Some authors suggested that DELC might be the earliest manifestation of a generalized vascular disease [35] and subclinical atherosclerosis [36]. For the DELC was also associated with CAD surrogates as brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity and aortic intima-media thickness in subjects free of clinical cardiovascular disease. "
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    ABSTRACT: Many reports have claimed associations between diagonal earlobe crease (DELC) and coronary artery disease (CAD), but data in Chinese populations are limited. This cohort study investigated 449 consecutive Chinese, 250 cases with CAD and 199 without CAD, who were certified by coronary artery angiography in our center. Characteristic differences and the relation of DELC to CAD were assessed by Chi-square and t tests. The multivariate regression was performed to adjust for confounders and ROCs mode were used to detect its predicting performance for CAD. The prevalence of DELC was 46.2% in those without CAD and 75.2% in those with CAD (P < .001). Subjects with DELC had more stenostic vessels and higher prevalence of both any and significant coronary artery stenosis than those without DELC (P < .001). The sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive values for DELC to diagnose CAD in the whole population were 0.752, 0.538, 0.671 and 0.633. The higher sensitivity and positive predictive values (ppv) were found in male, the lowest sensitivity and the highest ppv in the <45 years old group, and the lowest specificity and ppv in the >75 years old group. After adjusting for other variables including age, gender and traditional risk factors, DELC remained a positive predictor for CAD (OR, 3.408; 95% CI 2.235-5.196; P < 0.001), but not for hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia. ROC analysis showed the area under the curve was 0.645 (95% CI 0.593-0.697, p < 0.001). The study showed a significant association between DELC and CAD independent of established risk factors in Chinese.
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    • "Diagonal earlobe crease (ELC) (Figure 1) is a diagonal wrinkle or deep furrow that extends from the external part of the external acoustic meatus to the bottom edge of the earlobe [1,2]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Several studies found a significant association between earlobe crease (ELC) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a group of high-risk factors that are a collection of cardiovascular risk factors. Scant data are available about the relationship between ELC and MS. The purpose of the current study was to examine the correlation between ELC and MS. A cross-sectional study was performed on 3,835 subjects (1,672 females, 43.6%) aged 20 to 79 years who visited a health promotion center. To increase the reliability of the diagnosis of MS, both the modified National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III) and International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria were applied. Independent association between ELC and MS was assessed using multiple logistic regression analysis after adjusting for confounding variables. The frequency of ELC was 20.89% and the prevalence of MS was 11.03% (NCEP criteria) and 9.75% (IDF criteria). The prevalence of both ELC and MS significantly increased with age. The modified Framingham risk score was significantly higher in subjects with ELC than without. After adjusting for conventional risk factors for CVD, the risk of MS increased significantly in the presence of ELC. The current study showed that the odds ratio for MS increased in the presence of ELC in Korean adults. ELC is an auxiliary indicator of MS, although prognostic value might be limited. Further studies are warranted to elucidate the clinical significance of ELC.
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