Personal risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome in female visual display unit workers

Matteo Riccò, Silvia Cattani, Carlo Signorelli
2016 International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health  
Objectives: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most common nerve entrapment syndrome, which since the beginning of the seventies has been linked to the keyboard and visual display unit (VDU). The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence and personal factors associated with CTS in female VDU workers in Italy. Material and Methods: Participants in this study were female adult subjects, working ≥ 20 h/week (N = 631, mean age 38.14±7.81 years, mean working age 12.9±7.24 years).
more » ... 2.9±7.24 years). Signs and symptoms were collected during compulsory occupational medical surveillance. The binary logistic regression was used to estimate adjusted odds ratios for the factors of interest. Results: Diagnosis of CTS was reported in 48 cases (7.6%, 11 of them or 1.7% after a surgical correction) for the incidence of 5.94/1000 person-years. In general, signs and symptoms of CTS were associated with the following demographic factors: previous trauma of upper limb (adjusted odds ratio (OR a ) = 8.093, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.347-27.904), history (> 5 years) of oral contraceptives therapy/hormone replacement therapy (OR a = 3.77, 95% CI: 1.701-8.354) and cervical spine signs/symptoms (OR a = 4.565, 95% CI: 2.281-9.136). Conclusions: The prevalence of CTS was similar to the estimates for the general population of Italy. Among personal risk factors, hormone therapy, previous trauma of the upper limb and signs/symptoms of the cervical spine appeared to be associated with a higher risk of CTS syndrome. Eventually, the results reinforce interpretation of CTS in VDU workers as a work-related musculoskeletal disorder rather than a classical occupational disease. Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2016;29(6):927-936
doi:10.13075/ijomeh.1896.00781 pmid:27869243 fatcat:2os4jt75tjbr7mnc3mohfiojae