Are you left-handed or right-handed? If you’re like the majority of the world’s population, the latter is true for you.
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On the other hand, left-handedness is much less common. According to Right, Left, Right, Wrong, about 12% of people in the Western world are left-handed. The figure is even smaller for Asian, Muslim, and Latin American countries, where it’s common for people to re-learn and use their right hand as the dominant one, even if they were born left-handed.
You have probably heard about some psychological differences between right-handers and left-handers (e.g., right-handers are more practical, left-handers are more creative), but does handedness say anything about your health? Let’s take a look at some curious facts.
1. Risk of arthritis and ulcers
According to results of a large study, published in the journal Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, left-handed individuals are slightly less prone to arthritis and ulcers than right-handers. The study involved more than 1.2 million people.
2. Predisposition to stress
According to a study carried out by researchers at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, left-handers are more likely to be affected by fear and stress and are also much more prone to post-traumatic stress disorder. Right-handers are twice less likely to develop PTSD compared to left-handers, the study found.
This predisposition to stress may be evident even before birth. According to a study led by researchers at Durham and Lancaster universities, unborn babies are more likely to display left-handed movements in the womb when their moms are stressed.
3. Anxiety and shyness
More bad news for left-handed people: they are more likely than right-handers to feel anxious, shy, or embarrassed about doing or saying what they want, according to a study from the Abertay University.
4. Breast cancer risk
In a small study published in the British Journal of Cancer, left-handed women were slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than right-handed ones. The study followed 1786 women. Among them, 7.5% of left-handers developed breast cancer, compared with 5.3% of right-handers.
Which of these findings surprised you most?
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This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.