THE only time doctors normally mention a patient’s fingers is when they ask them to point to where it hurts. However research suggests GPS might be better off taking a closer look.
Numerous studies show fingers contain vital clues to potential future health problems.
The key is the difference between the index finger (the one next to the thumb) and the ring finger.
Men tend to have a longer ring finger while women tend to have ring and index fingers similar in length. It can vary considerably. The ratio is determined by exposure to testosterone while in the womb.
It now seems this has a profound effect. Men with longer index fingers are thought to have been exposed to less testosterone.
In the latest discovery scientists have found that men who have an index finger longer than their ring finger on their right hand are likely to respond better to a particular drug if they get prostate cancer.
Numerous studies show fingers contain vital clues to potential future health problems.The drug dutasteride works by blocking effects of testosterone.
There are a variety of illnesses and traits that can be influenced by finger length:
Scientists at the University of Liverpool were among the first to highlight the health consequences of finger length back in the late Nineties.
They found men whose ring fingers were the same length or shorter than their index fingers were at far greater risk of a heart attack in their 30s and 40s.
If a man’s ring finger is longer than his index finger it means he probably has higher levels of testosterone which can protect against heart disease.
Men and women with long ring fingers compared with their index fingers appear at more risk of osteoarthritis of the knee, according to researchers at Nottingham University.
They found this pattern seemed to double the risk of joint inflammation and pain. The reason is unclear as it is not known how testosterone affects joint damage later in life.
US researchers recently found women who have a longer ring finger have a better sense of direction.
This suggests they had greater exposure to testosterone in the womb and the hormone is thought to play a crucial role in the way the brain develops.
A long ring finger means a man is more likely to suffer depression which is not true in women.
Experts believe excess testosterone during a baby boy’s development promotes the brain’s right hemisphere.
Although this can contribute to mathematical and musical abilities it has been linked to migraine, autism, schizophrenia and depression.
.MOTOR NEURONE DISEASE..
This incurable illness robs the body’s muscles of all their strength but leaves the mind intact.
Last year the Institute of Psychiatry in London found those with longer ring fingers were more at risk.
Testosterone plays an important role in the nerve cells that control muscle function but it seems too much at the early stages could be disastrous later in life.
Professional footballers and athletes tend to have a longer ring finger as the raised pre-natal testosterone levels are thought to contribute to a man’s physique.
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