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Prevalence of epicondylitis, rotator cuff syndrome, and low back pain in latino poultry workers and manual laborers

Authors

  • Daryl A. Rosenbaum MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    • Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157.
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  • Joseph G. Grzywacz PhD,

    1. Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Haiying Chen PhD,

    1. Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Biostatistical Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Thomas A. Arcury PhD,

    1. Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Mark R. Schulz PhD,

    1. Department of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina
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  • Jill N. Blocker MS,

    1. Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Biostatistical Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Dana C. Mora MPH,

    1. Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Sara A. Quandt PhD

    1. Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Disclosure Statement: The authors report no conflicts of interests.

Abstract

Background

The goal of this study is to improve understanding of immigrant Latino manual workers' occupational health, focusing on upper body musculoskeletal injury.

Methods

Physical exams were conducted with a representative sample of 516 Latino poultry workers and manual laborers in western North Carolina; outcome measures were prevalence of epicondylitis, rotator cuff syndrome, and low back pain.

Results

Low back pain (n = 89; 17.2%) and rotator cuff syndrome (n = 76; 14.7%) indicated by physical exam was common. Epicondylitis was less common, but still frequent (n = 30; 5.8%). Prevalence of each outcome did not differ between poultry processing workers and other manual workers. Workers >40 years old had greater incidence of rotator cuff syndrome and epicondylitis.

Conclusions

Epicondylitis, rotator cuff syndrome, and low back pain are common in immigrant Latino workers, and may negatively impact long-term health and contribute to occupational health disparities. Am. J. Ind. Med. 56:226–234, 2013. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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