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Hand preference and risk of injury among the Northern Finland birth cohort at the age of 30

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The aim of this study is to examine two hypotheses. The first hypothesis proposes that left-handers have a higher injury risk than right-handers. The second hypothesis assumes that ambidextrous people have an elevated risk of injury compared with both right- and left-handers. The subjects of this study, 4107 men and 4461 women, were all born in northern Finland with expected dates for birth in 1966. They filled out a questionnaire at the age of 31. In the questionnaire, 7.9% of the men and 6.1% of the women reported themselves to be left-handers, and 1.7% of the men and 0.6% of the women to be ambidextrous. In addition, 71% of the subjects reported having been involved in at least one injury during their lifetime. There was no significant difference in injury involvement between left- and right-handers or ambidextrous people. The right-handers reported even more injuries in several injury types than did the left-handers. However, men using both hands equally had slightly elevated risk of traffic and home injury, whereas ambidextrous women had slightly elevated risk of work injury compared with right-handers.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Oulu Regional Institute of Occupational Health, Finland 2: Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Safety Department, Helsinki, Finland 3: University of Oulu, Department of Public Health and General Practice, Finland

Publication date: October 1, 2003

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