Background: Patterns of prevalence and work-relatedness of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) among workers offer clues about risk factors and targets for prevention.
Methods: Data from an occupational health supplement to the 2010 National Health Interview Survey were used to estimate the prevalence of self-reported clinician-diagnosed CTS overall and by demographic characteristics. The proportion of these cases self-reported to have been attributed to work by clinicians was also examined overall and by demographic characteristics. In addition, the distribution of industry and occupation (I&O) categories to which work-related cases of CTS were attributed was compared to the distribution of I&O categories of employment among current/recent workers.
Results: Data were available for 27,157 adults, including 17,524 current/recent workers. The overall lifetime prevalence of clinician-diagnosed CTS among current/recent workers was 6.7%. The 12-month prevalence was 3.1%, representing approximately 4.8 million workers with current CTS; 67.1% of these cases were attributed to work by clinicians, with overrepresentation of certain I&O categories.
Conclusions: CTS affected almost 5 million U.S. workers in 2010, with prevalence varying by demographic characteristics and I&O.
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.