Risk Factors for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Median Neuropathy in a Working Population

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Abstract

Objective:

To assess whether work-related physical activities are associated with Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), even when controlling for personal risk factors.

Methods:

A cross-sectional assessment of 1108 workers from eight employers and three unions completed nerve conduction testing, physical examination, and questionnaires. CTS was defined by median neuropathy and associated symptoms.

Results:

Eighteen workers had CTS and 131 had evidence of median neuropathy. CTS was highest among construction workers (3.0%) compared to other subjects (<1%). Logistic regression models for median neuropathy both personal and work-related risk factors. Work-related exposures were estimated by two methods: self-report and job title based ratings.

Conclusions:

Both work and personal factors mediated median nerve impairment. Construction workers are at an increased risk of CTS so awareness should be raised and interventions should specifically target this risk group.

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