Objectives: This study defined the incidence rate of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) among active assembly workers and evaluated risk factors.
Methods: This study followed 189 automobile assembly workers over 1 year. Incident cases were defined as workers who had no current or prior history of CTS and were subsequently diagnosed with CTS by means of active surveillance during the study.
Results: The estimated annual incidence rate ranged from 1% to 10%, depending on the case definition. Significant predictors for CTS include a higher baseline median-ulnar peak latency difference, history of wrist/hand/finger tendonitis, history of diabetes, nonneutral wrist and elbow postures, and a lower self-reported social support.
Conclusions: This is similar to other prospective studies that demonstrate both ergonomic and medical history are independent risk factors for development of CTS.