Digit Ratio Can Predict Sporting Ability in Women

Low second to fourth finger ratio indicates higher sporting prowess

FRIDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Sporting ability in women can be predicted by the ratio of the second to fourth finger length (2d:4d), with a lower ratio indicating greater ability, according to a study published online on Sept. 28 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Although 2d:4d is already thought to be related to a range of traits such as cognitive ability, sexuality and susceptibility to disease, so far most studies have focused on men.

In this study, Tim D. Spector, M.D., of St. Thomas' Hospital in London, U.K., and colleagues took X-rays of the hands of 607 women who were ranked on a scale of one to five in terms of sporting ability. Those with the lowest 2d:4d had the highest level of participation in sport, and the relationship was also seen in running in particular.

"If 2d:4d is fixed before birth and remains constant during life, this offers up the tantalizing question: can 2d:4d be used to predict future potential in sport?" the authors ask. "We postulate that 2d:4d is a predictor of potential sports ability. Understanding the mechanisms underpinning this relationship would give important insights into musculoskeletal fitness, health and disease," they conclude.

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