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.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.