THE shape of your ear lobes could indicateÂ your risk of suffering a stroke, according to new research.
Scientists claim that having diagonal creases across your lobes may mean you are at an increased risk of suffering from the life-threatening condition.
In a study of 241 stroke sufferers, researchers found that over three quarters had the mark on their ears.
Known as Frank’s sign, the diagonal crease on the ear lobes is believed to be a sign of clogged arteries, which increases the risk of a stroke.
The reduced blood supply to the ears results in a loss of elasticity, and in turn causes the visible creasing.
The findings wereÂ revealed by a team of Israeli researchers, who recommended that doctors add Frank’s sign to the the list of key indicators that patients are susceptible to strokes.
Published in the American Journal of Medicine (AJM), the study found that 78 of 88 patients (88 per cent) who had suffered a full-blown stroke had the diagonal lobe creases.
And among the 153 patients who had suffered a “mini-stroke”, 112, or 73 per cent, had Frank’s sign in their ears.
Previous research has indicated that the lobe creases may also be linked with a higher heart attack risk.
The crease is known as Frank’s sign after American doctor Sanders T Frank, who noticed in 1973 that the crease was common among young patients with the heart condition angina.
–Â A stroke is a serious life-threatening medical condition that occurs when the blood supply toÂ part of theÂ brain is cut off.
–Â PeopleÂ who survive a stroke are often left with long-term problems caused byÂ injury to their brain.
– A healthy diet, regular exercise, not smoking and moderating your alcohol consumption can reduce your risk of having a stroke.
– Key symptoms can be remembered with the word FAST:
Face: The face may have dropped on one side, the sufferer may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have dropped.
Arms:Â Sufferers may not be able to life both arms and keep them there due to weakness or numbness in the arms.
Speech:Â Speech may become slurred or garbled, or the person may be unable to talk at all.
Time:Â It’s time to dial 999 immediately if you see any of these indicators.
However, some critics of the recent studyÂ have argued thatÂ the results are not yet conclusive.
Dr Yaqoob Bhat, clinical director for stroke medicine at the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board in South Wales, told The Daily Mail: “The so-called Frankâs sign in the ear lobes has been recognised as having a possible association with advanced age, but some studies have shown its association with cardiovascular risk factors like diabetes, hypertension, ischaemic heart disease, and peripheral vascular disease.
“This new study suggests an association with increased risk of stroke, but further studies are needed to assess its importance.”