One-year incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome in Latino poultry processing workers and other Latino manual workers

Authors

  • Michael S. Cartwright MD, MS,

    1. Department of Neurology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    2. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Francis O. Walker MD,

    1. Department of Neurology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    2. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Jill C. Newman MS,

    1. Department of Biostatistical Sciences, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Mark R. Schulz PhD,

    1. University of North Carolina Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina
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  • Thomas A. Arcury PhD,

    1. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    2. Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Joseph G. Grzywacz PhD,

    1. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    2. Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Dana C. Mora MPH,

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

    1. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    2. Department of Biostatistical Sciences, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Bethany Eaton,

    1. Salem College, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Sara A. Quandt PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    2. Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    • Correspondence to: Sara A. Quandt, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC. Email: squandt@wakehealth.edu

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  • Disclosure: Dr. Cartwright, Dr. Walker, Dr. Schulz, Dr. Arcury, Dr. Grzywacz, Dr. Chen, and Dr. Quandt; and Ms. Blocker, Mora and Eaton have nothing to disclose.

ABSTRACT

Objective

To determine the incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) over 1 year in Latino poultry processing workers.

Methods

Symptoms and nerve conduction studies were used to identify Latino poultry processing workers (106 wrists) and Latinos in other manual labor occupations (257 wrists) that did not have CTS at baseline, and these individuals were then evaluated in the same manner 1 year later.

Results

Based on wrists, the 1-year incidence of CTS was higher in poultry processing workers than non-poultry manual workers (19.8% vs. 11.7%, P = 0.022). Poultry workers had a higher odds (1.89; P = 0.089) of developing CTS over 1 year compared to non-poultry manual workers.

Discussion

Latino poultry processing workers have an incidence of CTS that is possibly higher than Latinos in other manual labor positions. Latino poultry workers' high absolute and relative risk of CTS likely results from the repetitive and strenuous nature of poultry processing work. Am. J. Ind. Med. 57:362–369, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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