Self-reported physical work exposures and incident carpal tunnel syndrome

Ann Marie Dale, Bethany T. Gardner, Angelique Zeringue, Jaime Strickland, Alexis Descatha, Alfred Franzblau, Bradley A. Evanoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: To prospectively evaluate associations between self-reported physical work exposures and incident carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Methods: Newly employed workers (n=1,107) underwent repeated nerve conduction studies (NCS), and periodic surveys on hand symptoms and physical work exposures including average daily duration of wrist bending, forearm rotation, finger pinching, using vibrating tools, finger/thumb pressing, forceful gripping, and lifting >2 pounds. Multiple logistic regression models examined relationships between peak, most recent, and time-weighted average exposures and incident CTS, adjusting for age, gender, and body mass index. Results: 710 subjects (64.1%) completed follow-up NCS; 31 incident cases of CTS occurred over 3-year follow-up. All models describing lifting or forceful gripping exposures predicted future CTS. Vibrating tool use was predictive in some models. Conclusions: Self-reported exposures showed consistent risks across different exposure models in this prospective study. Workers' self-reported job demands can provide useful information for targeting work interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1246-1254
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Longitudinal studies
  • Occupational health
  • Physical work exposures
  • Prospective
  • Self-report


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