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Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2012 Jun;64(6):898-904. doi: 10.1002/acr.21615. Epub 2012 Jan 13.

Risk factors for Raynaud's phenomenon in the workforce.

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  • 1L'Université Nantes Angers Le Mans, Université d'Angers, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire d'Angers, Laboratoire d'Ergonomie et d'épidémiologie en santé au travail, Angers, France.



To assess the prevalence of and risk factors for Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) in a French working population characterized by various levels of exposure to work-related constraints.


The study population comprised 3,710 workers (2,161 men and 1,549 women) who were followed up by 83 occupational physicians and were representative of the region's workforce. RP, as diagnosed by a questionnaire and a standardized interview, was defined as the occurrence of at least occasional attacks of finger blanching triggered by exposure to environmental cold during the previous 12 months. Personal factors and work exposure were assessed by self-administered questionnaires. The associations between RP and personal and occupational factors were analyzed using logistic regression modeling.


A total of 87 cases of RP (56 women and 31 men) were diagnosed. The population-based annual prevalence rates of RP were 3.6% (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 2.7-4.5%) for women and 1.4% (95% CI 0.9-1.9%) for men. Women had a higher risk of RP (odds ratio [OR] 2.1 [95% CI 1.3-3.4]) and the risk decreased continuously with body mass index (OR for 1-kg/m(2) increment 0.87 [95% CI 0.81-0.94]). The risk of RP increased consistently but moderately with age after 35 years (ORs ranging from 2.0 [95% CI 1.1-3.8] to 2.9 [95% CI 1.6-5.2]). Among the work-related factors studied, RP was associated with an exposure to a cold environment or objects (OR 2.2 [95% CI 1.0-4.6]), a high repetitiveness of a task (OR 1.7 [95% CI 1.0-2.7]), a high psychological demand at work (OR 1.7 [95% CI 1.0-2.7]), and low support from supervisors (OR 2.4 [95% CI 1.5-3.8]).


Personal and work-related factors were associated with RP, with a clear difference between the sexes. Work-related psychosocial stressors played a significant role independently of biomechanical and environmental exposure.

Copyright © 2012 by the American College of Rheumatology.

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