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J Health Psychol. 2000 Jul;5(4):561-5. doi: 10.1177/135910530000500412.

Handedness and age of death: new evidence on a puzzling relationship.

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Minot State University, Minot, USA.


Based on 5743 deaths in the United States and Canada, the present study was undertaken to verify and extend results suggesting that left handers have a shorter life expectancy than right handers. Unlike previous studies, which have merely dichotomized handedness, this study used a 5-point scale to measure handedness (extremely right handed, generally right handed, ambidextrous, generally left handed and extremely left handed). We found a significant tendency for one of the five handedness categories-those classified as generally left handers-to die at a significantly younger age than was true for the other four handedness groups. Our findings add to the controversy over links between handedness and age of death by suggesting that only a portion of left handers are at risk of premature death.


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