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Epidemiol Health. 2009;31(1):e2009002. English. Original Article.
Choi SI , Kang HC , Kim CO , Lee SB , Hwang WJ , Kang DR .
Department of Family Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Severance Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Community Health Systems, University of California San Francisco, CA, USA.
Graduate School of Public Health, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea. drkang@yuhs.ac
Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Several studies have found a significant association between the presence of earlobe crease (ELC) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Brachial-ankle Pulse Wave Velocity (baPWV) is a non-invasive and useful measure of arterial stiffness predicting cardiovascular events and mortality. However, few studies have reported the relationship between ELC and baPWV as a new measure of arterial stiffness. The purpose of this study was to determine whether ELC is related to baPWV in non-diabetic, non-hypertensive, and apparently healthy Korean adults. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 573 non-hypertensive, non-diabetic Korean adults aged 20-80 yr. Subjects were stratified into three groups according to gender and menopausal status. baPWV was measured by an automatic waveform analyser. The association between ELC and baPWV was assessed by multiple linear regression analysis after adjusting for conventional cardiovascular disease risk factors including age, gender, blood pressure, lipid profile, and smoking status etc. RESULTS: The overall frequency of ELC was 19.02% and the subjects with ELC showed significantly higher mean baPWV (p<0.0001). Multiple linear regression of subjects revealed that the presence of ELC was independently associated with baPWV (male, p<0.0001; premenopausal female p=0.0162; postmenopausal female p=0.0208). CONCLUSION: ELC had a significant correlation with baPWV, independently controlling for other classical cardiovascular risk factors in adults aged 20 yr or older. ELC is an important surrogate marker of increased arterial stiffness as measured by baPWV in Korean adults.

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