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Handedness and Time to Pregnancy

Zhu, Jin Lianga; Obel, Carstena,b; Basso, Olgac; Bech, Bodil Hammera; Henriksen, Tine Brinkb; Olsen, Jørna,d

doi: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e31818b47d1
Fertility: Brief Report

Background: Nonright-handedness, particularly mixed-handedness, has been associated with a number of medical conditions. We examined whether handedness was associated with fecundity, measured by time to pregnancy.

Methods: We used data on parental handedness and time to pregnancy from 2 regional birth cohorts in Denmark: the Aalborg-Odense Birth Cohort (1984–1987) and the Aarhus Birth Cohort (1990–1992) (n = 5808 and 3426, respectively). We applied discrete-time survival analysis to assess fecundity in relation to handedness.

Results: In both cohorts, we saw a slightly lower fecundity in individuals who reported being mixed-handed.

Conclusions: Our data showed a modest association between mixed-handedness and subfecundity, which suggests that these traits may share a common etiology, perhaps tracing back to the prenatal period.

Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text.

From the aDanish Epidemiology Science Centre, Department of Epidemiology, Institute of Public Health, University of Aarhus, Aarhus C, Denmark; bPerinatal Epidemiological Research Unit, Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus N, Denmark; cEpidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, NC; dDepartment of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA.

Submitted 21 February 2008; accepted 29 April 2008; posted 2 December 2008.

Supported by a grant from the Danish Medical Research Council (No. 271-05-0115) and, in part, by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

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Correspondence: JL Zhu, The Danish Epidemiology Science Centre, University of Aarhus, Vennelyst Boulevard 6, DK 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark. E-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.