Background: The earlobe crease (ELC) has been linked to coronary artery disease and other vascular conditions, but there is no information on its association with intracranial atherosclerosis.
Objective: This study aimed to assess the association between high calcium content in the carotid siphons (as a surrogate of intracranial atherosclerosis) and ELC in communitydwelling adults living in rural Ecuador.
Methods: Atahualpa residents aged ≥40 years underwent head CT to estimate calcium content in the carotid siphons, and visual inspection of both earlobes to evaluate the presence of ELC. The association between both variables was assessed by logistic regression models, after adjusting for demographics and cardiovascular risk factors.
Results: Of 651 enrolled individuals (mean age: 59.7±12.8 years; 54% women), 225 (35%) had ELC, and 143 (22%) had high calcium content in the carotid siphons. Univariate logistic regression showed a borderline (non-significant) association between high calcium content in the carotid siphons and ELC presence (OR: 1.44; 95% C.I.: 0.99 – 2.12; p=0.057), which disappeared when age (OR: 0.98; 95% C.I.: 0.65 – 1.48; p=0.923) and other covariables (OR: 0.97; 95% C.I.: 0.63 – 1.49; p=0.890) were added to the model.
Conclusion: This population study shows no association between high calcium content in the carotid siphons and ELC presence.