Association of occupational and non-occupational risk factors with the prevalence of self-reported carpal tunnel syndrome in a national survey of the working population

Am J Ind Med. 1997 Nov;32(5):550-6. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0274(199711)32:5<550::aid-ajim18>;2-1.


To compare the association of occupational versus personal, nonoccupational risk factors with the prevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), data from the 1988 National Health Interview Survey, Occupational Health Supplement, were analyzed. When both occupational factors (bending/twisting of the hands/wrists [B/T] and use of hand-held vibrating tools) and personal nonoccupational factors (gender, race, age, body mass index [BMI], smoking, education, and family income) were included in a multivariate logistic regression model, adjusted odds ratios (AORs) of these factors for reporting medically called CTS (MC-CTS) were: exposure to B/T, 5.5; exposure to vibration, 1.9; white race, 16.7; female gender, 2.3; BMI > or = 25, 2.0; history of cigarette smoking, 1.6; age > or = 40, 1.2; education > 12 years, 1.2; and annual family income > or = $20,000, 1.5. Although both occupational and nonoccupational factors are associated with reporting of CTS, repetitive bending/twisting of the hands/wrists and use of vibrating tools remain important risk factors for work-related carpal tunnel syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vibration / adverse effects