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The range of left-handed risks

The range of left-handed risks
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Being left-handed comes with some shocking health concerns, from anxiety to breast cancer. What it is about being a leftie that makes a person more susceptible to these risks? “There is a famous creed in research that correlation does not equal causation,” says Eugene Charles, a chiropractor and director of The Applied Kinesiology Center of New York. In other words, being left-handed does not cause these health problems. However, studies have shown that left-handed individuals are more likely to be at risk for certain chronic conditions and even early death, so let’s dive in.

Here are 15 things you never knew about left-handed people.

You’re at risk for an earlier death

You’re at risk for an earlier death
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We’re starting with the big one. Studies have shown that left-handed people tend to not live as long, possibly because they’re trying to manoeuvre their ways through a world designed for right-handed people. Everything from that right-handed desk you struggled with in biology to how cars are built put lefties at a disadvantage. In fact, a study in The New England Journal of Medicine found that left-handed people are over five times more likely to die in a car accident than right-handers.

Learn the 10 times you shouldn’t use your left hand.

You’re at risk for psychotic disorders

You’re at risk for psychotic disorders
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Writing with your left hand could mean that you’re more at risk for some serious psychiatric disorders. A 2013 study from Yale University looked at the handedness of patients in a mental health hospital. Researchers found that 40 percent of the schizophrenic patients reported writing with their left hands, as opposed to just 10 percent of the population. Being left-handed is also associated with dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

You have a higher risk of breast cancer

You have a higher risk of breast cancer
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We all need to be diligent with monthly cancer self-checks, but this is especially important if you’re left-handed. In a study in the British Journal of Cancer, researchers found that left-handers have a higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer, especially after menopause, than right-handers do.

Discover 15 body signs no one tells you will come before menopause.

You may struggle in school

You may struggle in school
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If classes feel overwhelming for lefties, they’re not alone. A 2009 study in Demography found that left-handed children tend to not perform as well academically as their right-handed peers. Lefties scored lower in skills like reading, writing, social development and vocabulary. This remained true when researchers controlled for variables like socioeconomic status and parental involvement.

Here are more body parts that could determine how smart you are.

You may have restless sleep

You may have restless sleep
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If your partner opts to sleep on the couch rather than deal with your nighttime antics, here’s why: A study from the American College of Chest Physicians found that left-handers are more at risk for developing limb movement disorder. This disorder is characterised by the involuntary jerking of your arms and legs while you sleep.

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You’re more likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorder

You’re more likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorder
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If you still refuse to watch thrillers like Get Out, blame it on your hand. According to a study in the Journal of Trauma and Stress, left-handers are more likely to express symptoms of post-traumatic stress after watching clips from a scary movie than righties. Lefties may also experience more negative emotions during and after the movie.

You may make less money

You may make less money
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If scary movies don’t faze you, here’s something truly frightening: Simply writing with your left hand could mean you’re not going to make as much money as righties. According to a study in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, Harvard researchers found that left-handers’ salaries were about 9 to 19 percent lower than their right-handed colleagues. Left-handers were also more likely to drop out of university.

You could feel down more often

You could feel down more often
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Does it ever feel like you have a hard time moving on from an argument or negative experience? It may be related to the way your brain is wired. According to a study in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, left-handed individuals are more prone to hanging onto negative emotions and needing longer to process their feelings.

What is catastrophising? Learn if this is something you do.

You may drink more alcohol

You may drink more alcohol
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In the past, researchers believed that left-handed people were more prone to alcoholism than their right-handed peers. While this correlation hasn’t held up in the research, it does seem that lefties tend to drink more. According to a study published in The British Journal of Health Psychology, left-handers reported drinking more alcohol than righties.

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