Upper-Extremity Musculoskeletal Disorders
Risk factors for upper-extremity musculoskeletal disorders in the working population
Article first published online: 29 SEP 2009
Copyright © 2009 by the American College of Rheumatology
Arthritis Care & Research
Volume 61, Issue 10, pages 1425–1434, 15 October 2009
How to Cite
Roquelaure, Y., Ha, C., Rouillon, C., Fouquet, N., Leclerc, A., Descatha, A., Touranchet, A., Goldberg, M., Imbernon, E. and Members of Occupational Health Services of the Pays de la Loire Region (2009), Risk factors for upper-extremity musculoskeletal disorders in the working population. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 61: 1425–1434. doi: 10.1002/art.24740
- Issue published online: 29 SEP 2009
- Article first published online: 29 SEP 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 11 JUN 2009
- Manuscript Received: 18 NOV 2008
- French Institute for Public Health Surveillance. Grant Number: 9/25/2002-5
- French National Research Agency. Grant Number: ANR-grant SEST-06-36
To assess the relative importance of personal and occupational risk factors for upper-extremity musculoskeletal disorders in the working population.
A total of 3,710 workers (58% men) participating in a surveillance program of musculoskeletal disorders in a French region in 2002–2005 were included. Upper-extremity musculoskeletal disorders were diagnosed by 83 trained occupational physicians performing a standardized physical examination. Personal factors and work exposure were assessed by a self-administered questionnaire. Statistical associations between musculoskeletal disorders, personal, and occupational factors were analyzed using logistic regression modeling.
A total of 472 workers experienced at least 1 upper-extremity musculoskeletal disorder. The risk of upper-extremity musculoskeletal disorders increased with age for both sexes (P < 0.001, odds ratio [OR] ≤4.9 in men and ≤5.0 in women), and in cases of prior history of upper-extremity musculoskeletal disorders (OR 3.1 and 5.0, respectively, P < 0.001). In men, upper-extremity musculoskeletal disorders were associated with obesity (OR 2.2, P = 0.014), high level of physical demand (OR 2.0, P < 0.001), high repetitiveness of the task (OR 1.5, P = 0.027), postures with the arms at or above shoulder level (OR 1.7, P = 0.009) or with full elbow flexion (OR 1.6, P = 0.006), and high psychological demand (OR 1.5, P = 0.005). In women, upper-extremity musculoskeletal disorders were associated with diabetes mellitus (OR 4.9, P = 0.001), postures with extreme wrist bending (OR 2.0, P < 0.001), use of vibrating hand tools (OR 2.2, P = 0.025), and low level of decision authority (OR 1.4, P = 0.042).
Personal and work-related physical and psychosocial factors were strongly associated with clinically diagnosed upper-extremity musculoskeletal disorders.