Prevalence and risk factors of self-reported wrist and hand symptoms and clinically confirmed carpal tunnel syndrome among office workers in China: a cross-sectional study

Tidsskriftartikel - 2021

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BACKGROUND: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common cause of pain, numbness and tingling in the wrist and hand region and is associated with repetitive wrist and hand use in office workers. However, scarce knowledge exists about the epidemiology of clinically confirmed CTS among Chinese office workers. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of wrist/hand symptoms and CTS in office workers in China and to identify associated risk factors.

METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was carried out in a metropolitan city in China involving 969 respondents (aged 17-49 years) from 30 workplaces. A questionnaire was distributed to each participant to collect their demographic, work-related physical and psychosocial factors, and wrist and hand symptoms. The wrist and hand pain/numbness symptoms were marked on a body chart and the nature and intensity of symptoms, nocturnal symptoms, as well as aggravating activities were also recorded. Clinically confirmed CTS cases were screened based on the history, Phalen's test, Tinel Sign and skin sensation testing among symptomatic respondents. Logistic regression was employed to estimate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) for the occurrence of self-reported wrist and hand symptoms and clinically confirmed CTS.

RESULTS: The clinically confirmed CTS prevalence was 9.6%. The prevalence of wrist and hand symptoms were 22 and 15%, respectively. Frequently working in pain was associated with higher odds of CTS. Multivariate modelling adjusted for age and gender showed that prolonged computer use time and working without breaks were associated with presence of wrist/hand symptoms (adjusted ORs: 1.11 (95% CI 1.02-1.22) and 1.88 (95% CI 1.12-3.14)). Educational level was inversely associated with CTS and smoking was associated with wrist/hand complaints (adjusted OR: 2.20 (95% CI 1.19-4.07)).

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of work-related clinically confirmed CTS symptoms among young office workers in China is high. Frequently working in pain is closely associated with clinically confirmed CTS. Intense computer use and no breaks at work are associated with wrist and hand symptoms.

Reference

Feng B, Chen K, Zhu X, Ip W, Andersen LL, Page P, Wang Y. Prevalence and risk factors of self-reported wrist and hand symptoms and clinically confirmed carpal tunnel syndrome among office workers in China: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health 2021;21(1):57.
doi: 10.1186/s12889-020-10137-1

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