A novel earwax method to measure acute and chronic glucose levels

Andrés Herane-Vives, Susana Espinoza, Rodrigo Sandoval, Lorena Ortega, Luis Alameda, Allan H. Young, Danilo Arnone, Alexander Hayes, Jan Benöhr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Diabetes is the fourth cause of death globally. To date, there is not a practical, as well as an accurate sample for reflecting chronic glucose levels. We measured earwax glucose in 37 controls. Participants provided standard serum, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1cs) and earwax samples at two time-points, one month apart. The specimens measured baseline fasting glucose, a follow-up postprandial glucose level and a between sample chronic glucose, calculated using the average level on the two occasions. The baseline earwax sample was obtained using a clinical method and the follow-up using a novel self-sampling earwax device. The earwax analytic time was significantly faster using the novel device, in comparison to the clinical use of the syringe. Earwax accurately reflected glucose at both assessments with stronger correlations than HbA1c . Follow-up postprandial concentrations were more significant than their respective fasting baseline concentrations, reflecting differences in fasting and postprandial glycemia and more efficient standardization at follow up. Earwax demonstrated to be more predictable than HbA1c in reflecting systemic fasting, postprandial and long-term glucose levels, and to be less influenced by confounders. Earwax glucose measurements were approximately 60% more predictable than HbA1c in reflecting glycemia over a month. The self-sampling device provided a sample that might accurately reflect chronic glycemia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1069
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Diabetes
  • Diagnosis
  • Earwax
  • Glucose
  • Glycated hemoglobin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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