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J Occup Rehabil. 2005 Jun;15(2):129-65.

Review of epidemiologic studies on occupational factors and lower extremity musculoskeletal and vascular disorders and symptoms.

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Department of Environmental Health Sciences, The University of Michigan School of Public Health, 109 South Observatory, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2029, USA.


The epidemiologic literature on lower extremity musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), vascular disorders, and occupational mechanical factors is relatively sparse, compared to the low back and upper extremities. The present literature review aims to summarize and evaluate the current literature on lower extremity vascular disorders, MSDs, and symptoms, and to update previous literature reviews. A search was conducted in PubMed. Articles were included if they had a lower extremity musculoskeletal outcome, and a workplace factor(s). They were evaluated based upon their generalizability, exposure, and outcome assessments, study design, and controlling of confounders. Most of the literature has focused on osteoarthritis of the hip and knee, whereas not much research has been done examining the feet/ankles and lower legs. Overall, better exposure assessment is needed to examine the causal pathway between occupational factors and MSDs.

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