The incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

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Abstract

Aim:

To assess the incidence rate of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and investigate the correlations between CTS and disease activity and duration in patients with RA.

Materials and methods:

This retrospective cohort study was conducted to assess the incidence rate of CTS in 1070 patients with RA who had visited our rheumatism center between March 2001 and May 2013, and had participated in follow-up at least once over a 5-year period. We also investigated duration of RA and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels at time of CTS occurrence to identify correlations between CTS occurrence and duration of RA, and disease activity of RA.

Results:

The cumulative incidence for 12 years of CTS in patients with RA was 6.8% (12/176), and 37 cases of CTS occurred in 1070 patients with RA. The incidence rate of CTS in patients with RA was found to be 4.18 per 1000 person-years (37 in 8849 person-years). There was no statistically significant correlation between CTS occurrence and duration of RA, and no positive correlation between CTS occurrence and CRP levels.

Conclusion:

Our incidence rate of CTS in patients with RA was similar to the incidence rate of CTS in the general population (0.3–5.0 per 1000 person-years). CTS occurrence did not correlate with duration of RA and had no positive correlation with disease activity of RA.

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