Left-handed people are 25 percent more likely to have slimmer faces, according to a recent study. Perhaps that is somewhat to make up for their being also statistically more likely to contract tuberculosis. The study, written by Philippe Hujoel, a professor at the University of Washington School of Dentistry, was published this past week in the online journal Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition.
ReliaWire reported that Hujoel’s study, connecting the incidence of people with slender jawlines to both an increased likelihood of being left-handed and to an increased risk of tuberculosis (TB), was based on three surveys involving 13,536 people in the United States. Hujoel also discovered that there was a link between people with slender faces and overbites, resulting in their having “convex facial profiles.”
About one in five adolescents in the United States have slender jaws, making them a relatively common facial feature. In the study, Hujoel noted that a Greek physician about 2,000 years ago was the first person to identify a link between people who had slender jaws and who also were susceptible to having TB.
He added, according to Pulse Headlines, that the low body weight of people who have slender jawlines is recognized today as an indicator by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that a person might be more susceptible to contracting or having TB. The findings of the study suggests that the same genetics involved with shaping a person’s facial features and their likelihood of contracting tuberculosis also is linked to left-handedness.
The link appears to also have a geographical basis, according to the results of the study. Hujoel wrote in the study about the UK being described as being “the tuberculosis capital of Western Europe.” The UK, he wrote, also has a high number of people who are left-handed “and people with slender faces.”
An example to the contrary that Hujoel wrote about were the Eskimos. He mentioned that the Eskimos were described in the 19th century as both having “robust facial features,” and also being “tuberculosis-resistant.” In paintings, when shown using tools and other instruments, they are typically portrayed as being right-handed.
Hujoel admitted that the findings could be just “a weird coincidence.” He wrote that further studies and research were needed to confirm the validity of the findings.
According to Medical Daily, tuberculosis “mainly affects the lungs,” and it is a disease that results in a high number of fatalities around the world. In 2015, an estimated 1.8 million people died from the disease.
Not only is tuberculosis associated with people who have slender faces, but it is also associated with people who use tobacco or have compromised immune systems. Only about 10 to 15 percent of the population in the world is composed of left-handed people. Only 10 percent of people in the United States are left-handed.
Though the study by Philippe Hujoel suggests that people with slender faces are 25 percent more likely to also be left-handed, there are, of course, many people in the world who have slender faces and are right-handed. There also appears to be a link between people who have slender faces and who contract tuberculosis and who have overbites, according to the study. More studies and research are needed to confirm the Hujoel’s findings.
By John Samuels
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