Unspecified pain and other soft tissue disorders following electrical injuries: a register-based matched cohort study

Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2022 May;95(4):799-809. doi: 10.1007/s00420-021-01802-y. Epub 2021 Oct 10.


Objective: This study investigates whether individuals who have sustained an electrical injury (EI) are diagnosed with unspecified pain or pain related to the musculoskeletal system in the years following the injury.

Methods: Individuals listed in Danish registers as having sustained EIs were matched for sex, age, and year of injury in a cohort study with individuals having experienced dislocations/sprains (match 1), eye injuries (match 2), and a sample of individuals with the same occupation without a history of electrical injuries (match 3). Outcomes were unspecified pain and unspecified soft tissue disorders. Conditional logistic regression and conditional Cox regression were applied.

Results: We identified 14,112 individuals who sustained EIs. A higher risk of both outcomes was observed for all three matches, and was highest at the 6- and 12-month follow-ups. The risk of both outcomes was considerably higher for match 3.

Conclusions: This study confirms that exposure to EIs increases the risk of being diagnosed with unspecified pain or unspecified soft tissue disorders both at short and long terms. Our results also showed that the risk of unspecified pain as sequelae is related to the severity of the injury.

Keywords: Electrical injury; Electrical shock; Matched cohort study; Pain.

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Electric Injuries* / complications
  • Electric Injuries* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal System*
  • Pain