Page last updated at 18:24 GMT, Tuesday, 2 September 2008 19:24 UK

Handwriting clue to heart disease

A graphologist is conducting a study to find out whether handwriting can reveal the early signs of heart disease.

Christina Strang, from Wiltshire, compared handwriting samples of 61 cardiac patients from Swindon with those of healthy people.

Ms Strang says that when writing we rest the pen for milliseconds and these so-called "resting dots" could show possible heart malfunctions.

Her research showed twice as many "resting dots" among the cardiac group.

Ms Strang, 53, has worked analysing handwriting for 12 years and is based in Chippenham.

She was inspired to investigate the link between potential health problems and handwriting after learning about the work of Professor Alfred Kanfer.

Professor Kanfer, born in 1902, was a handwriting consultant in the Austrian government who was sent to Dachau concentration camp during World War II and then lived in the United States.

He worked with the American Cancer Society in the 1950s, exploring the possible early detection of malignant diseases through the analysis of handwriting.

Ms Strang said: "I managed to find a statistically significant difference in the writing of patients with cardiac disease and my control group.

"I've found one particular movement in the writing, although I actually believe there's far more than just the one link, and my research is going to be continuing, looking to see if I can find those other links as well.

"In the group I used, some had been diagnosed and some hadn't, so I'm hoping to do a completely new group of people who have not been diagnosed with heart disease and the idea is to see if I can pick out the ones that will ultimately be diagnosed."

She explains that she examines the number of "resting dots" - the place where the pen stops momentarily in the course of a stroke - as part of her analysis.




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