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Health Disparities of the Left-Handed PDF Print
Written by Editors, The Menopause Minute   
Monday, 16 April 2012 00:00

Health Disparaties of the Left Handers

Lefties make up about 10 percent of the population, but they are certainly the odd ones out in our society. For centuries, medical research has attempted to understand the scientific importance of left-handedness. Not only do lefties have a tough break when it comes to everyday gadgetry, interestingly, many health challenges have also popped up.

There is even a significant correlation between age at menopause and hand preference. Left-handed women seem to reach menopause at an earlier age and are more prone to experiencing increased intensity of menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes and anxiety. Women who suffer from extreme anxiety are five times more likely to experience hot flashes than women who manage to avoid anxiety. High anxiety has been shown to lead to more frequent and severe hot flashes.

Evidently, lefties’ brains are wired differently. Many brain disorders such as dyslexia, schizophrenia, learning disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more common in left-handed people. About 20 percent of people with schizophrenia are lefties, but reasons for this are unclear.

It’s not easy being a lefty, but it has advantages. In fact, there are more than you might think! When faced against a righthanded competitor, lefties have the upper hand in sports such as tennis, fencing and baseball. For one reason or another, six of the last 12 US presidents, including Barack Obama and George HW Bush have been lefties. Now don’t go thinking left-handed people are smarter though. Lefties differ from right-handers by only one IQ point, which is not very much.

Some Famous Lefties:

  • Prince William
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Martina Navratilova
  • Nicole Kidman

References

Dane S, Reis N, and Pasingliougu T. "Left-handed women have earlier age of menopause." J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 1999; 10(2): 147-50. Website

Leidy LE. "Early age at menopause among left-handed women." Obstet Gynecol. 1990 Dec;76(6):1111-4. Website.

"The Health Risks of Being Left Handed." The Wall Street Journal, December 6, 2011 Website.

Last Updated on Monday, 16 April 2012 14:57