Work-related risk factors for lateral epicondylitis and other cause of elbow pain in the working population

Authors

  • Eleonore Herquelot MSc,

    1. Population-Based Epidemiological Cohorts, Research Platform, Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University, UMRS 1018, Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, Villejuif, France
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  • Julie Bodin MSc,

    1. Laboratory of Ergonomics and Epidemiology in Occupational Health, University of Angers, LUNAM University, Angers, France
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  • Yves Roquelaure MD,

    1. Laboratory of Ergonomics and Epidemiology in Occupational Health, University of Angers, LUNAM University, Angers, France
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  • Catherine Ha MD,

    1. Department of Occupational Health, French Institute for Public Health Surveillance (InVS), Saint-Maurice, France
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  • Annette Leclerc PhD,

    1. Population-Based Epidemiological Cohorts, Research Platform, Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University, UMRS 1018, Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, Villejuif, France
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  • Marcel Goldberg MD,

    1. Population-Based Epidemiological Cohorts, Research Platform, Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University, UMRS 1018, Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, Villejuif, France
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  • Marie Zins MD,

    1. Population-Based Epidemiological Cohorts, Research Platform, Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University, UMRS 1018, Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, Villejuif, France
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  • Alexis Descatha MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Population-Based Epidemiological Cohorts, Research Platform, Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University, UMRS 1018, Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, Villejuif, France
    2. Occupational Health Unit, AP-HP, Poincaré University Hospital, Garches, France
    • Inserm U1018, UVSQ, Unité de pathologie professionnelle U1018, CHU Poincaré, 104 bd Poincaré, Garches 92380, France.
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  • Disclosure Statement: The authors report no conflicts of interests.

Abstract

Background

This study was designed to assess the relationship between work-related combined physical and psychosocial factors and elbow disorders (lateral epicondylitis and non-specific disorders without lateral epicondylitis) in the working population.

Methods

A total of 3,710 workers (58% men) in a French region in 2002–2005 participated in physical examinations by occupational health physicians and assessed their personal factors and work exposure by self-administered questionnaire. Statistical associations between elbow disorders and risks factors were analyzed using multinomial logistic regression.

Results

A total of 389 (10.5%) workers had elbow pain without lateral epicondylitis and 90 (2.4%) workers had lateral epicondylitis. Age, body mass index (>25), and low social support (only for men) were significant risks factors. Hard perceived physical exertion combined with elbow flexion/extension (>2 hr/day) and wrist bending (>2 hr/day) was a strong significant risk factor for elbow pain and epicondylitis: among men, adjusted Odds Ratio (ORa) = 2.6 (1.9–3.7) and ORa = 5.6 (2.8–11.3), respectively; among women, ORa = 1.4 (0.9–2.2) and ORa = 2.9 (1.3–6.5).

Conclusions

This study emphasizes the strength of the associations between combined physical exertion and elbow movements and lateral epicondylitis. Certain observed differences in associations with lateral epicondylitis and elbow pain only indicate the need for additional longitudinal studies on different stages of elbow disorders and known risk factors. Am. J. Ind. Med. 56:400–409, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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