Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2009;35(5):342-348    pdf


Attributable risk of carpal tunnel syndrome in the general population: implications for intervention programs in the workplace

by Roquelaure Y, Ha C, Fouquet N, Descatha A, Leclerc A, Goldberg M, Imbernon E

Objective Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) represents one of the most significant and costly health problems occurring in the working population. An estimation of the potential impact of CTS prevention programs in the workplace would be useful for public policy. The aim of this study was to assess the work-related population-attributable fraction (PAF) of CTS in industrial sectors and occupational categories at high risk of CTS in the general population.

Methods All cases of CTS occurring in patients living in a French region were included prospectively between 2002–2004. Using a mailed questionnaire, we gathered medical and occupational history from 815 women and 320 men. We calculated the age-adjusted relative risks and PAF of CTS in relation to industrial sectors and occupational categories.

Results The PAF for women was higher in lower-grade, white-collar workers (24%, 95% CI 19–29) than blue-collar workers (19%, 95% CI 15–22). The PAF was higher for the service industries sector (16%, 95% CI 8–22) than manufacturing (10%, 95% CI 7–13) or agricultural (5%, 95% CI 3–7) sectors. The PAF was high for men in blue-collar workers (50%, 95% CI 41–57) and in the construction (13%, 95% CI 9–18) and manufacturing industries (17%, 95% CI 10–23).

Conclusion The study suggested that 5–50% of CTS cases might be avoided in the whole population if totally effective intervention programs were implemented in specific occupational categories or industrial sectors.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2001;27(4):268-278  1999;25(3):163-185  1997;23(5):364-369  2009;35(1):19-36
The following article refers to this text: 2017;43(1):75-85