SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

Objective

An epidemiologic surveillance network for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) was set up in the general population of a French region to assess the proportion of CTS cases attributable to work in high-risk industries and occupations.

Methods

Cases of CTS occurring among patients ages 20–59 years living in the Maine and Loire region were included prospectively from 2002 to 2004. Medical and occupation history was gathered by mailed questionnaire for 815 women and 320 men. Age-adjusted relative risks of CTS and the attributable risk fractions of CTS among exposed persons (AFEs) were computed in relation to industry sectors and occupation categories.

Results

Twenty-one industry sectors and 8 occupational categories for women and 10 sectors and 6 occupational categories for men were characterized by a significant excess risk of CTS. High AFE values were observed in the manufacturing (42–93% for both sexes), construction (66% for men), and personal service industries (66% for women) and in the trade and commerce sectors (49% for women). High AFE values were observed in lower-grade white-collar occupations for women (43–67%) and blue-collar occupations for men (60–74%) and women (48–88%).

Conclusion

The attributable proportions of CTS cases among workers employed in industry sectors and occupation categories identified at high risk of CTS varied between 36% and 93%.