Dear Dr. Roach: Years ago, I was told that people with very little earwax have low cholesterol and generally live very long lives. Doctors and nurses that I mention this to have either never heard it before or doubted it was true. Your comments, please! — W.D.M.
Answer: There have been reports that the type (not amount) of earwax you have correlates to risk for heart disease. “Wet” earwax has more fat and less protein, while “dry” earwax has more protein and less fat. A Japanese study from the 1960s identified “dry” earwax as protective against heart disease, but no further studies have confirmed this apparent risk. Wet earwax correlates to high levels of apolipoprotein B more than it does to overall cholesterol levels.
The earlobe crease, a horizontal crease going across the earlobe, has been also associated with heart disease, but again, there remains controversy about its usefulness.