The occurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome in frozen food factory employees

Gaoxiong Yi Xue Ke Xue Za Zhi. 1990 Feb;6(2):73-80.


Two hundred and seven (207) active workers from two frozen food plants were classified according to their daily tasks and placed into three groups. Each classification was evaluated for risk factors which could lead to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). The workers were thoroughly studied by structured interviews, neurological screening, and electrophysiological studies. Those workers who experienced little hands' local exposure to cold and low repetitive movements of the wrist (group I) served as the internal standard. In groups II (no local exposure to cold, but a high degree of repetitiveness) and III (a combination of local exposure to cold and a high degree of repetitiveness) 40.54% and 37.19%, of the workers respectively were diagnosed to have CTS by neurological studies. The risk of CTS for group II + III was 14.39 times higher than that of group I, when group I was compared with group II + III (high repetitiveness). After adjusted for sex, age, and/or the length of employment, group III still had a higher risk of CTS than group II. Repetitiveness as well as hands' local exposure to cold were found to be contributing factors in leading to CTS. Recognition, evaluation, and management of CTS in the related industries in Taiwan should be initiated to assure early diagnosis and prevention of this occupationally related syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Food Preservation*
  • Food-Processing Industry*
  • Frozen Foods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Taiwan / epidemiology