Carpal tunnel syndrome: under-recognition of occupational risk factors by clinicians

Ind Health. 2007 Dec;45(6):820-2. doi: 10.2486/indhealth.45.820.


This study was performed in order to demonstrate that non-occupational physicians are often unaware of the possible role of occupational risk factors in the multifactorial etiology of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Study participants consisted of 229 individuals, 127 cases of CTS matched with 102 controls. In only 41% of the cases did family or attending physicians in the hospital asked the concerned patients about their occupation or specific job tasks, and less than 10% of the cases were referred for further evaluation to an occupational physician. Occupational risk factors that were identified were: work with repeated movements of the wrist (OR=2.15, 95% CI=1.14-4.07) and work in a cold environment (OR=3.52, 95% CI=1.08-11.47). By improving the awareness of clinicians (and patients) to the possible role of work-related factors in the etiology of CTS, appropriate preventive measures can be introduced in order to reduce the burden of this syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / etiology
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Physicians*
  • Risk Factors