Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors Predict the Development and Numbers of Common Musculoskeletal Disorders in a Prospective Cohort

J Occup Environ Med. 2023 Aug 1;65(8):e527-e533. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002895. Epub 2023 Jun 2.


Objective: The aim of the study is to assess risk of common musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) based on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk scores.

Methods: Data from a 9-year prospective cohort of 1224 workers in three states were analyzed. Baseline data included questionnaires, structured interviews, physical examinations, anthropometric measurements, nerve conduction studies, and individualized measurement of job physical factors. Monthly follow-ups were conducted. Framingham risk scores were calculated. A priori case definitions were constructed for carpal tunnel syndrome, lateral epicondylopathy, medial epicondylopathy, and rotator cuff tendinopathy.

Results: Adjusted RRs for one or more MSDs increased to 3.90 (95% confidence interval, 2.20-6.90) among those with 10-year cardiovascular disease risk scores greater than 15% and 17.4 (95% confidence interval, 3.85-78.62) among those with more than 4 disorders.

Conclusions: Cardiovascular disease factors are strongly associated with the subsequent development of common MSDs. Risks among those with multiple MSDs are considerably stronger.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases* / complications
  • Occupational Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases* / etiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires