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Do You Have a Creased Earlobe?

If you have a creased earlobe, you may have read about studies over the past few years that looked at the link between creased earlobes and heart disease risk. Learn more about the findings, and what Dr. Weil says about the connection – or lack of one.

If you have ever heard that a crease in the earlobes - specifically one that runs diagonally - indicates an increased risk of heart disease, you aren't alone. More than 30 studies over the past few decades have examined whether an earlobe crease is a sign of heart disease or suggests a higher-than-normal risk of heart trouble.

The good news is that there's no medical consensus on whether or not an earlobe crease is a meaningful marker for the presence of heart disease or a propensity toward it. Some studies have found an association between earlobe creases and heart disease and some have not, leading to the conclusion that the prevalence of earlobe creases probably increases with age, as does heart disease.

So if you do have a creased earlobe, don't fret - but it is prudent for everyone, creased lobes or not, to take preventive steps when it comes to heart disease: eat a heart healthy diet like my Anti-Inflammatory Diet; consider taking a fish oil supplement; manage lifestyle risk factors by getting regular exercise and not smoking; and know your personal history of heart disease and discuss it with your doctor.

Eat More Fish, Hold on to Hearing

Eating fish may help save your hearing, at least if you’re female. A new study from Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that consumption of two or more servings of fish per week was linked to a 20 percent lower risk of hearing loss compared to women who rarely ate fish. The researchers followed more than 65,000 women who participated in the long-running Nurses’ Health Study II from 1991 to 2009, during which 11,606 cases of hearing loss were reported. A lower risk of hearing loss was associated with eating all types of fish and shellfish, as well as with higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Earlier research had suggested a link between fish consumption and hearing loss, but this study is the first to identify a relationship over time between eating fish and self-reported hearing loss in women. Study leader Sharon G. Curhan, M.D., noted that while a decline in hearing is highly prevalent and often viewed as inevitable with aging, this study and other research suggest that there may be ways to prevent or delay it.

Sharon G. Curhan et al, “Fish and Fatty Acid Consumption and Hearing Loss in Women,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, doi: 10.3945/​ajcn.114.091819