An examination of the hypothesis that left-handers die earlier: the Canadian Study of Health and Aging.
The present paper is a prospective examination, using data from the Canadian Study of Health and Aging (CSHA-1 and CSHA-2), of the hypothesis that self-reported left-handers die earlier than right-handers. Persons over age 65 receiving a clinical evaluation in 1991 (n = 2786) as part of CSHA-1 were recontacted in 19956. At baseline, the sample showed a trend for the expected cross-generational decline in nonright-handedness with increasing age (3.2% of those aged 6574 reported being left-handers while 2.1% were left-handers in the 85+ age group). At follow-up, there were no significant differences in mortality between self-reported right-handers (52.6% died), left-handers (56.8%), and ambidexters (46.6%). The Odds Ratio was 1.18 (95% confidence interval 0.721.93) for left- compared to right-handers. There was no evidence that being left-handed increased the risk of death in this sample of elderly Canadians.
Steenhuis, RE; Østbye, T; Walton, R
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