Risk factors for neck and shoulder disorders: a nested case-control study covering a 24-year period

Am J Ind Med. 2000 Nov;38(5):516-28. doi: 10.1002/1097-0274(200011)38:5<516::aid-ajim4>3.0.co;2-0.


Background: In 1969 a population-based study was conducted in the Stockholm region. From the 2,579 randomly selected participants (18-65 years of age in 1969), the youngest subset were asked to participate in a reexamination in 1993. Information regarding working conditions, conditions outside work, and neck and shoulder disorders was collected retrospectively for the period 1970-1993.

Methods: Of 783 eligible subjects (42-59 years of age in 1993), 484 responded. Cases of neck/shoulder disorders were defined by past sick leave or medical attention or recent symptoms, depending on available information. For each case (n = 271) two controls were randomly selected, matched by age and gender. Variables regarding both physical and psychosocial conditions were included in the matched analyses.

Results: Among women mainly psychosocial factors and among men mainly physical factors were associated with neck/shoulder disorders. The only gender common risk indicator found was repetitive hand work (OR approximately 1.5). Interactive effects were also observed.

Conclusions: The impact on neck/shoulder disorders from separate factors was moderate but combinations of physical and psychosocial factors, as well as of work-related and non-work-related factors, produced relative risks above 2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders*
  • Fingers
  • Hand
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / psychology*
  • Neck*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Shoulder*
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Workplace