Transient hand paresthesias in Champagne vineyard workers

Am J Ind Med. 2001 Dec;40(6):639-45. doi: 10.1002/ajim.10012.


Background: The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of hand paresthesias (HP) and their relationship with pruning activities.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 537 workers pruning grapevines in the region of Champagne. All workers completed a questionnaire about nocturnal HP and musculoskeletal pain during the preceding 12-month period.

Results: The 12-month prevalence of nocturnal HP and hand-wrist pain were 37 and 12%, respectively. HP, predominantly affecting the dominant hand, only began during the pruning period and ended after the pruning season in 90% of cases. HP were transient in most cases, with a mean duration of symptoms of 3.3 +/- 3.2 months. Risk factors associated with HP were: female gender (OR = 2.3 [1.3-3.0]), being overweight (OR = 1.6 [1.1-2.5]), payment on a piecework basis (OR = 2.0 [1.2-2.3]) and traditional blade sharpening method (OR = 1.7 [1.1-2.7]). HP were less frequent in employees who used electric pruning shears (OR = 0.5 [0.2-1.6], P = 0.09).

Conclusions: The development of HP, which affected a third of employees, was different from HP observed in industrial workers since most vineyard workers recovered without medical treatment after the pruning season.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Hand Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pain / classification
  • Pain / epidemiology
  • Paresthesia / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Probability
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution
  • Wine