Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: The Role of Occupational Factors Among 906 Workers




Background: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is common in the industrial setting. However, there is a controversy about the sole role of occupational ergonomic hazards in CTS. Objectives: This study was conducted among assembling workers of a detergent factory and computer users with the aims of A) determination of CTS prevalence and B) evaluation of personal risk factors and level of exposure to occupational risk factors via Quick Exposure Check (QEC)). Materials and Methods: In this descriptive cross-sectional study, 906 cases (332 assembling workers and 574 computer workers) were enrolled. CTS was assessed by symptoms on the Katz hand diagram and physical examination. QEC technique was applied to evaluate physical exposure to the risk factors. Results: According to this study, the prevalence of probable CTS was 14% in men and 8.9% in women; the rate of probable CTS was significantly higher in assembly workers than in computer users (P < 0.001). Mean age and work duration in the probable CTS group was statistically higher than in non-CTS group. But both groups were in the same range (fewer than 30, P = 0.024, 0.004); BMI in the probable CTS group was slightly lower than in non CTS group, but BMI in both groups were in the normal range. Wrist ratio > 0.7 correlated with increased risk of probable CTS (P < 0.001) Prevalence of probable CTS was significantly higher in third and fourth levels of QEC (P < 0.001). Conclusions: Although this article had limitations, our findings suggest that the level of occupational exposure is an indicator of CTS development.