Effects of age, sex, and anthropometric factors on nerve conduction measures

Authors

  • Dr. Diana S. Stetson PhD,

    1. Department of Environmental and Industrial Health, School of Public Health, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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  • Dr. James W. Albers MD, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neurology, Medical School, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    • Department of Neurology, 1C 325 UH, Box 0032, The University of Michigan Medical Center, 1500 E. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, Ml 48109
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  • Dr. Barbara A. Silverstein PhD,

    1. Safety & Health Assessment Research Program, Washington Department of Labor and Industries, Olympia, Washington
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  • Dr. Robert A. Wolfe PhD

    1. Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Abstract

Associations among measures of median, ulnar, and sural nerve conduction and age, skin temperature, sex, and anthropometric factors were evaluated in a population of 105 healthy, asymptomatic adults without occupational exposure to highly repetitive or forceful hand exertions. Height was negatively associated with sensory amplitude in all nerves tested (P < 0.001), and positively associated with median and ulnar sensory distal latencies (P < 0.01) and sural latency (P < 0.001). Index finger circumference was negatively associated with median and ulnar sensory amplitudes (P < 0.05). Sex, in isolation from highly correlated anthropometric factors such as height, was not found to be a significant predictor of median or ulnar nerve conduction measures. Equations using age, height, and finger circumference for prediction of normal values are presented. Failure to adjust normal nerve conduction values for these factors decreases the diagnostic specificity and sensitivity of the described measures, and may result in misclassification of individuals. © 1992 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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