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Muscle Nerve. 2014 Dec;50(6):879-83. doi: 10.1002/mus.24453. Epub 2014 Oct 30.

Hypothyroidism and carpal tunnel syndrome: a meta-analysis.

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Centre of Expertise for Health and Work Ability, and Disability Prevention Centre, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, FI-00250 Helsinki, Finland.


This study aimed to assess the magnitude of the association between hypothyroidism and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Eighteen studies were included in a random-effects meta-analysis. A meta-analysis of the studies that did not control their estimates for any confounder showed an association between a thyroid disease (hypo- or hyperthyroidism) and CTS (N = 9,573, effect size [ES]‚ÄČ= 1.32 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04-1.68) and between hypothyroidism and CTS (N = 64,531, ES = 2.15 [95% CI, 1.64-2.83]). When a meta-analysis limited to the studies that controlled their estimates for some potential confounders, the association between a thyroid disease and CTS disappeared (N = 4,799, ES = 1.17 [95% CI, 0.71-1.92], I(2) = 0%), and the effect size for hypothyroidism largely attenuated (N = 71,133, ES = 1.44 [95% CI, 1.27-1.63], I(2) = 0%). Moreover, there was evidence of publication bias. This meta-analysis found only a modest association between hypothyroidism and CTS. Confounding and publication bias may still account for part of the remaining excess risk.


carpal tunnel syndrome; hyperthyroidism; hypothyroidism; median nerve; meta-analysis; myxedema

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