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Left-handedness and Disease

Dam, T. van (2011) Left-handedness and Disease. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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About 85-90% of the population is right-handed and 10-15% is left-handed. Genetic as well as environmental factors seem to influence the direction of handedness. From an evolutionary perspective, handedness does not seem to be a neutral trait and selection acts upon this trait. This paper focuses mainly on negative aspects of left handedness, trying to answer the main question: Does left-handedness reduce longevity because of susceptibility to disease? The percentage of left-handers in a population decreases with age, which can be the result of either modification or elimination factors. In the literature there are contradictory results as to which theory can best explain this phenomenon. Research on the association between disease and left-handedness shows that there is an association between immune disease and left-handedness but contradictory results have also been reported. Breast cancer seems consistently related to left-handedness but cognitive decline on the other hand is not more severe in left-handers compared to right-handers and thus does not seem to influence longevity. From this paper it can be concluded that left-handedness could indeed reduce longevity because of its associations with different types of diseases. However because of the contradictory results and different designs of the studies, more evidence is needed to conform that this is indeed the case.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:45
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:45

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