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J Occup Environ Med. 2015 Jan;57(1):98-104. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000312.

Personal and workplace factors and median nerve function in a pooled study of 2396 US workers.

Author information

1
From the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (Drs Rempel and Harris-Adamson), University of California at San Francisco; Department of Occupational and Environmental Health (Dr Gerr and Ms Merlino), College of Public Health, University of Iowa; the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (Drs Hegmann and Thiese), University of Utah, Salt Lake City; Department of Occupational Science and Technology (Drs Kapellusch and Garg), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Dr Burt), Cincinnati, Ohio; the Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention Program (Drs Bao and Silverstein), Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, Olympia; and the Division of General Medical Science (Drs Dale and Evanoff), Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Evaluate associations between personal and workplace factors and median nerve conduction latency at the wrist.

METHODS:

Baseline data on workplace psychosocial and physical exposures were pooled from four prospective studies of production and service workers (N = 2396). During the follow-up period, electrophysiologic measures of median nerve function were collected at regular intervals.

RESULTS:

Significant adjusted associations were observed between age, body mass index, sex, peak hand force, duration of forceful hand exertions, Threshold Limit Value for Hand Activity Limit, forceful repetition rate, wrist extension, and decision latitude on median nerve latencies.

CONCLUSIONS:

Occupational and nonoccupational factors have adverse effects on median nerve function. Measuring median nerve function eliminates possible reporting bias that may affect symptom-based carpal tunnel syndrome case definitions. These results suggest that previously observed associations between carpal tunnel syndrome and occupational factors are not the result of such reporting bias.

PMID:
25563546
PMCID:
PMC4440794
DOI:
10.1097/JOM.0000000000000312
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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