I follow a lot of heart news, blogs, doctors, medical journals, and conferences. I read the headlines, and usually, the articles. I follow the footnotes to the original study. I have learned a ton about my disease, and I have learned how to read between the lines.
There are some factoids that are very odd, but nonetheless relatively “proven” as true and really can’t be anything more than interesting, since there’s little to nothing we can do about it. These are the indicators — things that show that a person might be more susceptible to heart disease. They aren’t causes, just simple correlations. But my guess is you don’t know about them . . . yet.
Your blood type might indicate a greater risk for heart disease
Really. A study of studies released in August of last year found that people with non-O blood types have higher risk of getting heart disease. Type A had a 5 percent increased risk; type B had 10 percent, and the ABs 23 percent more likely to develop heart disease. Since you certainly can’t control that, file it under interesting. (I’m type A.)
A crease across your earlobe could indicate heart disease
The first time I read this I headed straight for the mirror, and yep, there they were: perfectly diagonal deep creases on each ear that I’d never noticed before. This, along with a receding hairline and yellowish, fatty deposits around the eyes (which are cholesterol), were announced in November 2012 at an American Heart Association conference as indicators of the disease. Lucky (I guess?) for me, I just have the earlobe thing.
In men, baldness concentrated at the top of the head is riskier than other hair loss
This one is recent. A study of studies released April 3, 2013 and covered extensively in the media found that mostly-bald men in the cohort studies were 32 percent more likely to develop coronary heart disease than those who had full heads of hair. And the risk was even greater for younger men who were mostly bald. It also mattered where the men were bald: “Risk was concentrated on the top of the head,” wrote The Atlantic. (For once, no risk for me. Not only am I not a man, I have plenty of hair, and I’m vain enough to write about it.)