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The ear lobe crease sign is not a myth. Very recent studies have proven that it is reliable at predicting future heart disease.

Is An Ear Lobe Crease A Sign Of Heart Disease?

Heart disease and heart attacks are a severe problem worldwide. According to the Center For Disease Control (CDC), 

  • Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing 365,914 people in 2017
  • About 18.2 million adults age 20 and older have CAD (about 6.7%)
  • About 2 in 10 deaths from CAD happen in adults less than 65 years old

And according to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease, is the number 1 cause of death worldwide.

Silent Heart Attacks

More fascinating is that 1 in 5 heart attacks in the US is silent (symptomless). In other words, people have gotten heart attacks and not even be aware of it.

Studies also show that up to 45% of heart attacks are silent worldwide.

Silent heart attacks can “triple the risk of dying from heart disease and a 34 percent increased risk of dying from any cause.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a physical sign that would give you an advanced warning so you could protect yourself from getting a silent heart attack or Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)?

The sign could then be used to investigate further or treat before it turns into a real attack.

The sign has been discussed for decades, but 2020 studies have confirmed that it is reliable.

The Diagnolal Ear Lobe Crease Sign (Frank’s Sign)

Diagonal ear lobe crease (DELC)(Frank’s Sign) is a crease on the earlobe that goes diagonally in different depths with an angle of about 45 degrees. (Source)

In 1973, an American pulmonologist (specialist in the respiratory system) named Sanders T. Frank was the first to connect an ear lobe crease to heart disease. Hence the name Frank’s Sign.

Generally, the sign is graded at how deep it goes down into the lobe and if it goes entirely across the earlobe. There are three ways to grade it:

  • a slight wrinkle on the ear lobe
  • a moderate groove in the line with a visible base
  • a severe groove so deep you cannot see its base
Is An Ear Lobe Crease A Sign Of Heart Disease?
The Initial Stage Of An Ear Lobe Crease Sign

Although Dr. Frank may have been the first to make a connection between DELC and heart disease, there is evidence that this may have been known as far back as the Roman Empire. 

The statue of Roman Emperor Hadrian (76 AD – 138 AD) depicts the ear lobe crease. Hadrian suffered from high blood pressure and died of heart failure. (1), (2)

Ear Lobe Crease On Emperor Hadrian Who Died Of Heart Disease
Ear Lobe Crease On Emperor Hadrian

In the last several years, DELC has been proven to be connected to coronary artery disease and heart attacks by the use of modern computer technology.

An observational study was conducted on 10,885 people, and a follow-up was made 35 years later. The study confirmed that the presence of an ear lobe crease increases the chances of CAD by five times. (Source)

An April 2020 study announced that “Frank’s sign ear crease is closely correlated with coronary artery disease (CAD).”

Another April 2020 study published in the International Journal Of Medicine stated that it is crucial to look for this crease, and if it exists, people should consider an examination for coronary heart disease.

In yet another research paper published in August 2020, scientists discovered after doing a study on 360 patients that the ones that had a higher percentage of ear lobe crease were older and had: (Source)

  • higher SBP levels (systolic blood pressure)
  • higher percentages of hypertension
  • higher glucose levels
  • lower creatinine clearance levels
  • higher initial and peak troponin levels
  • lower hemoglobin levels 
  • lower LVEF (left ventricular ejection fraction)
  • higher Gensini scores (scoring system for determining the severity of coronary heart disease)

This study’s results clearly showed that ear lobe creases are an excellent sign to predict heart disease.

In another study submitted to the Clinical Otolaryngology on October 25, 2020, asserted the following:

  • We found that DELC is associated with CAD independently of other known cardiovascular risk factors including age. Histology studies indicate that atherosclerosis is causing DELC and patients with DELC appear to have an increased risk of CAD.

This late study has completed a peer review by other prominent scientists, and an evaluation is pending.

The research declared that atherosclerosis (buildup of fats, cholesterol, and other substances in and on your arteries (plaque)) is what causes ear lobe creases. And if you have a DELC, you are at a greater risk of getting coronary artery disease.


The ear lobe crease sign is not a myth. Very recent studies have proven that it is reliable at predicting future heart disease.

Heart attacks can strike even if you are in your 20s. And the silent heart attacks make it even more challenging to evaluate because there are no visible symptoms.

Suppose you begin to see a superficial wrinkle on your ear lobe(s). In that case, you should get evaluated by a doctor and tested for cholesterol, homocysteine, triglycerides, and C-reactive protein levels.

Ear lobe crease signs may be a blessing in disguise and can be an excellent starting point on your way to better health.