Is it true that left-handed people have a shorter life expectancy than right-handed people?

Answer There is no difference in life expectancy between left and right handed people. There was a controversial study done in 1980 by Halpern & Coren that suggested left-handed people had an average life expectancy of 9 years less than right-handed people. However, data was based on second-hand information: surveys from the next-of-kin of recently deceased persons asking about right/left handedness and age of death. They found left-handed average age of death was 66; right-handed average age was 75.

Unfortunately, this study keeps getting quoted even though more recent data has shown their hypothesis is not supported. Second hand survey data is not a sound methodology.

In addition, if a study reports a higher mortality rate (or any other "problem") in left-handers, then it's very important to look at the research design and how the data was analyzed. Simply checking the sample sizes will give a good indication of whether it was a "real" significant difference. If the sample sizes are large, and most studies have sample sizes of 1,000 or more, then there will be a "statistically" significant difference between groups (i.e.: Left versus Right) even if the amount of variance explained by the two groups is very small, which means there is no clinical significance. A statistical significant difference does not mean it has clinical or meaningful significance. Many statistical tests will give a significant difference only because of large sample sizes. Therefore, the measure of explained variance needs to be computed because it is unaffected by sample size.

More recent studies have disputed the notion that left-handed people die earlier. For example, see the study by Aggleton, Bland, Kentridge, & Neave in the British Medical Journal at for more information. In addition, for a discussion of the Halpern & Coren study, see the link:
+ 45 others found this useful
Thanks for the feedback!

Countless novels of yours have been on the New York Times Best Sellers List, and Wind Chime Point, the 2nd in the Ocean Breeze series, was #1 in 2013. Home to Seaview Key also hit #1. How is writing different for you now compared to when you started out?

View Full Interview
In Health

Do left hand people die 7 years sooner than right hand people?

To be honest, I don't really think it makes any kind of difference. A study published in 1991 claimed that statistics indicate that left-handed people's lifespans are shorter (MORE)

Is it true that right-handed people live longer than left-handed people?

Right-handed on people, on average, do live longer than Left-handed people. The primary reason for this being accidents with tools, which are predominantly designed for the r (MORE)

Why are people left-handed or right-handed?

That is controlled by the brain, which can be conditioned. Early-stage Alzheimer's patients (in the US) are being taught to use the opposite of their dominant hand to inspire (MORE)

Relationship Expectations

When you enter into a relationship with another person, you assume that love and passion will eventually come. Over the course of your relationship, you will also have expecta (MORE)

Dating Without a Commitment

When you begin dating someone, you make various commitments to them. For example, you may commit to not having a physical or mental relationship with someone else or you may c (MORE)
In Advice

Determining if Someone is Your Soul Mate

The term soul mate is used to describe a person who is destined to be with one other specific person. The type of relationship that can involve a soul mate can be a friendship (MORE)

Can People Write With Their Right And Left Hand?

Most people can only write with one hand. Those who are right-handed write with their right hand, and those who are left-handed write with their left hand.   Those who can (MORE)

Are left handed people smarter than right handed people?

There is no scientific evidence to suggest left handed people are smarter than right handed people. Some studies have indicated a small (and perhaps coincidental) correlation (MORE)

Finding Love: College Dating Advice

College is one of the most memorable milestones that you ever experience. Your new-found freedom leads to self-discovery in life, ambitions and love. While some people leave f (MORE)