The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2261-14-43) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Xing-li Wu, Ding-you Yang contributed equally to this work.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
XLW and DYY designed and interpreted all the results of the investigation. WHC, PL and MLJ carried out patients enrollment and data records. XLW and YSZ conducted the statistic analysis. The manuscript was initially drafted and written by XLW and DYY. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Many reports have claimed associations between diagonal earlobe crease (DELC) and coronary artery disease (CAD), but data in Chinese populations are limited.
This cohort study investigated 449 consecutive Chinese, 250 cases with CAD and 199 without CAD, who were certified by coronary artery angiography in our center. Characteristic differences and the relation of DELC to CAD were assessed by Chi-square and t tests. The multivariate regression was performed to adjust for confounders and ROCs mode were used to detect its predicting performance for CAD.
The prevalence of DELC was 46.2% in those without CAD and 75.2% in those with CAD (P < .001). Subjects with DELC had more stenostic vessels and higher prevalence of both any and significant coronary artery stenosis than those without DELC (P < .001). The sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive values for DELC to diagnose CAD in the whole population were 0.752, 0.538, 0.671 and 0.633. The higher sensitivity and positive predictive values (ppv) were found in male, the lowest sensitivity and the highest ppv in the <45 years old group, and the lowest specificity and ppv in the >75 years old group. After adjusting for other variables including age, gender and traditional risk factors, DELC remained a positive predictor for CAD (OR, 3.408; 95% CI 2.235-5.196; P < 0.001), but not for hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia. ROC analysis showed the area under the curve was 0.645 (95% CI 0.593-0.697, p < 0.001).
The study showed a significant association between DELC and CAD independent of established risk factors in Chinese.
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