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Occup Med (Lond). 2008 May;58(3):212-4. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqm157. Epub 2008 Jan 21.

Carpal tunnel syndrome in the Turkish steel industry.

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Izmir Teaching and Research Hospital, Bozyaka, Izmir, Turkey.



Certain occupations are reported to be associated with a high risk for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). In this study, we investigated the development of CTS in iron-steel industry workers.


Subjects were recruited from a factory of 650 workers and assessed by means of history, physical examination and electrophysiological testing.


Seventy-nine subjects from the factory and 53 healthy controls with occupations unrelated to heavy physical work were assessed. None of the worker group had electrophysiological evidence of CTS. One subject in the control group has electrophysiological evidence of CTS. In the worker group, all sensory nerve conduction velocities and ulnar nerve action potential amplitudes in both hands and distal motor latencies were statistically different.


In our study, among a group of heavy labourers, no cases of CTS were detected. However, all electrophysiologic parameters of workers were different from controls. Our results point to a diffuse, but subclinical injury of peripheral nerves under heavy physical work conditions, instead of a local effect such as CTS.

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