Risk factors for operated carpal tunnel syndrome: a multicenter population-based case-control study

Mattioli, Stefano; Baldasseroni, Alberto; Bovenzi, Massimo; Curti, Stefania; Cooke, Robin M. T.; Campo, Giuseppe; Barbieri, Pietro G.; Ghersi, Rinaldo; Broccoli, Marco; Cancellieri, Maria Pia; Colao, Anna Maria; dell'Omo, Marco; Fateh-Moghadam, Pirous; Franceschini, Flavia; Fucksia, Serenella; Galli, Paolo; Gobba, Fabriziomaria; Lucchini, Roberto; Mandes, Anna; Marras, Teresa
January 2009
BMC Public Health;2009, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p343
Academic Journal
Background: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a socially and economically relevant disease caused by compression or entrapment of the median nerve within the carpal tunnel. This population-based case-control study aims to investigate occupational/non-occupational risk factors for surgically treated CTS. Methods: Cases (n = 220) aged 18-65 years were randomly drawn from 13 administrative databases of citizens who were surgically treated with carpal tunnel release during 2001. Controls (n = 356) were randomly sampled from National Health Service registry records and were frequency matched by age-gender-specific CTS hospitalization rates. Results: At multivariate analysis, risk factors were blue-collar/housewife status, BMI ≥ 30 kg/m², sibling history of CTS and coexistence of trigger finger. Being relatively tall (cut-offs based on tertiles: women ≥165 cm; men ≥175 cm) was associated with lower risk. Blue-collar work was a moderate/strong risk factor in both sexes. Raised risks were apparent for combinations of biomechanical risk factors that included frequent repetitivity and sustained force. Conclusion: This study strongly underlines the relevance of biomechanical exposures in both nonindustrial and industrial work as risk factors for surgically treated CTS.


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