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How being left-handed impacts you health

Being a lefty in a right-handed world is tough enough, but here are a few things your health is probably affected by as a southpaw.

Firstly, your brain might work a little differently.

The brains and bodies of a left-handed person differ to a right-handed person. Their brains are said to work a little differently, according to a Stanford University study in 2009. They categorise information differently, favouring data presented on the left versus how right-handed people favour data displayed on the right. This has far reaching effects, such as voting on ballots or favouring presidential candidates.

If you’re a lefty, you are probably also a little sleep deprived. According to a 2011 University of Toledo survey, lefties may be more prone to periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), which causes patients to involuntarily kick and jerk their arms and legs while sleeping.

You may experience sleepless nights as a lefty. Credit: Methamphetamine
You may experience sleepless nights as a lefty. Credit: Methamphetamine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left-handedness has also been linked to slower learners in Australia (2009). “Australian researchers found that left-handed kids performed worse than right-handers several measures, including vocabulary, reading, writing, social development, and gross and fine motor skills,” CNN says. For some reason, left-handed people appear to be more vulnerable to mental illness, with 40% of schizophrenia patients being left-handed.

Lefties and other health complications

Being left-handed has also been linked to several bodily conditions. In a 2007 study published in the British Journal of Cancer, it was found that lefties are at higher risk of contracting breast cancer. It could be the result of something affecting a fetus in early development, says the author. Lefties post-menopause are at particular risk of contracting cancer.

Aside from increased chance of breast cancer and sleepless nights, lefties live as long as righties. In general, the difference between left-and-right-handed people is so subtle, that there is barely a noticeable difference at all. Although there are health concerns, studies indicate that the immune systems of both handednesses are about the same.

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