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Epidemiology. 1998 May;9(3):342-5.

Incidence of diagnosed carpal tunnel syndrome in a general population.

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Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Marshfield Medical Research and Education Foundation, WI, USA.


We sought to determine the incidence rate of carpal tunnel syndrome in the general population. Using three different case definitions, we conducted a prospective study to ascertain by medical record review all cases of incident disease in a defined population during a 2-year period. Newly diagnosed probable or definite carpal tunnel syndrome (N = 309) occurred at a rate of 3.46 cases per 1,000 person-years (95% confidence interval = 3.07-3.84). The incidence rate in our study was 3.5 times higher than the rate 20 years ago in a Minnesota city. The rate difference probably results from a combination of reasons, including a true rise in incidence.

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