2 Hidden Physical Findings That May Put You at Risk For Heart Disease

Heart disease is the number one preventable killer in the WORLD only second to stroke, therefore we, the inhabitants of this planet, need to be aware of these two murders.

You don’t need to be a doctor to know the major risk factors which lead to heart disease and stroke:  

Increased blood pressure

High blood sugar

Excess body fat around the waist

Abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

This cluster of symptoms together is called Metabolic Syndrome.  One of these doesn’t mean you have heart disease, but increases your risk.

But what about the silent clues that you may not be aware of.  Here, we will talk about two:  The Earlobe Crease and Clubbing of the Finger Nails


The Earlobe crease seen in the picture below is thought to be associated with a higher risk of heart disease.

A study done in 1989 studied post-mortem autopsies of 303 people to see if people with ear creases had a higher chance of cardiovascular disease by examining their cause of death.  It was found that men had a higher propensity to have these creases, though not by much:  1.3 (men)  to 1 (women).

In this study, Out of the 303 people involved, 211 individuals had earlobe creases.  A cardiovascular cause of death was present in 154 (73%) of these 211 patients…and was associated with an increased risk of a cardiovascular cause of death.


Clubbing is usually associate with chronic lung disease, such as COPD, Emphysema, by an unknown mechanism.  However, clubbing of the nails, doesn’t necessarily mean you have a disease.  Sometimes it’s just genetic.

So, how is heart disease related to this?  Because any condition that causes hypoxia (decreased oxygen) can cause the heart to suffer and uncover heart disease or coronary artery disease.  We may see this in people with untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) due to the chronically untreated hypoxia that occurs at night.

How to check:

If you have any of these symptoms, you should check with your doctor, or reach out to me for further discussion and workup.


In health,

Dr. Mike










About the author

I am a Board Certified Family Practice Physician (MD) that has a passion for the proper treatment of patients. We are more than just our physical beings. We are complex and the current medical climate is failing both patients and physicians. As a new author, I feel passionately about letting everyone know how the system is failing us, moreover, how to overcome these barriers!

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Michael Lewis, MD
I am board certified in family medicine and passionate about caring for the whole patient: mind, body, spirit. I am married to a wonderful woman Jenniffer, who is a clinical psychologist and works right here in Willow Medical Center. I have a 7-year-old daughter, Bailey who is the light of my life. I am a soul searcher for myself and others. I also love to help men reach their potential as a conscious male. I am also a musician/guitarist. I have found that nurturing this part of my brain helps me think out of the proverbial box and provide better medicine.