The association between diagonal earlobe creases and fatal cardiovascular disease was investigated in a consecutive series of 303 coroner's necropsies. Those studied all died outside hospital in the Brighton Health District. Data were analysed on the cause of death and on the type of earlobe, the presence or absence of diagonal creases, age, sex, height, and any previous history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus. The age of nine men and six women was not known. Cardiovascular causes of death included ischaemic and hypertensive disease, calcific valvar stenosis, ruptured dissecting aneurysm of the thoracic aorta, and ruptured atheromatous aneurysm of the abdominal aorta. The mean (SD) age at death was 72 (15) and the male to female ratio was 1.3:1. Diagonal creases were present in 123 (72%) of 171 men and 88 (67%) of 132 women. A previous history of cardiovascular disease was present in 90 (30%) of the total of 303 and 74 (35%) of the 211 with diagonal creases. A cardiovascular cause of death was present in 154 (73%) of 211 with and 41 (45%) of 92 without diagonal creases and was associated with an increased risk of a cardiovascular cause of death of 1.55 in men and 1.74 in non-diabetic women.
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