According to a study, having ear canal hair is a sign for an impending heart attack. In 1973, Dr. Sanders T. Frank and his team published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine which claimed that a diagonal earlobe crease (named Frank’s sign in honor of Dr. Frank), was a sure indicator of coronary artery disease. This is a condition of plaque buildup in the arteries which is usually a precursor to heart attacks.
Intrigued by the claims, many doctors researched the crease later in order to find the truth. In 1984, a group of New York doctors found a connection between the ear canal hair and coronary artery disease. The study included 43 men and 20 women, and the results showed that 90% of the subjects who had the earlobe crease and coronary artery disease had experienced cardiac arrest. Richard F. Wagner of the Boston University Medical School suspected that long term exposure to androgen led to clots in the arteries due to the excess production of red blood cells.
Later in 1989, an article published in the Indian Heart Journal suggested a link between the earlobe crease, ear hair canal and coronary artery disease. The authors wrote “A significant difference was also observed between men with and without CAD in the presence of ear-canal hair with age matched group.” Ear canal hair prevalence advanced with age.
Finally, in 2006, a study conducted by Edston E. examined the link as well. “It was found that ELC (earlobe crease) 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 authors wrote. Edston studied over 520 autopsies measuring the BMI, spleen weight, ear hair, earlobe crease, cause of death, baldness, thickness of abdominal fat and other characteristics. The younger the patient was, the higher was the positive predictive value.
Scientists are still not sure how the link between ear hair canal and heart attacks works, but it definitely exists. Some people think that people get hairy and overweight with age, eventually suffering from a heart attack, so at least they don’t blame the hair.