As a result of the Coren and Halpern (1991) hypothesis that left hand preference may be associated with decreased survival fitness, there has been interest in exploring the relationship between hand preference and indices of health status. In a series of studies of university-aged adults, Hicks and his colleagues found a higher prevalence of accidental injuries, falls, and sleep problems among individuals with mixed, rather than left, hand preference. They argued that hand preference consistency, not side, may be a marker for possible reduction in health and well-being. We looked at the relationship between hand preference consistency and the prevalence of sleep problems, accidental injuries, falls, injuries from falls, and the prevalence of autoimmune and other illnesses in a sample of 1277 adults between the ages of 65 and 100 years. Of those participants who reported a recent fall, mixed-handers were more likely to report a higher number of injuries from these falls when compared to the reports of consistent-handers. In contrast to the previous findings of Hicks et al., and highlighting the value of including broader age ranges, all other comparisons showed no differences between the two hand preference types.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)