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Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Related to Computer Exposure at Work? A Review and Meta-Analysis

Mediouni, Zakia MD; de Roquemaurel, Alexis MD; Dumontier, Christian MD; Becour, Bertrand MD; Garrabe, Hélène; Roquelaure, Yves MD, PhD; Descatha, Alexis MD, PhD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000080
Original Articles
Abstract

Objective: A meta-analysis on epidemiological studies was undertaken to assess association between carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and computer work.

Methods: Four databases (PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Base de Donnees de Sante Publique) were searched with cross-references from published reviews. We included recent studies, original epidemiological studies for which the association was assessed with blind reviewing with control group. Relevant associations were extracted, and a metarisk was calculated using the generic variance approach (meta–odds ratio [meta-OR]).

Results: Six studies met the criteria for inclusion. Results are contradictory because of heterogeneous work exposure. The meta-OR for computer use was 1.67 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.79 to 3.55). The meta-OR for keyboarding was 1.11 (95% CI, 0.62 to 1.98) and for mouse 1.94 (95% CI, 0.90 to 4.21).

Conclusion: It was not possible to show an association between computer use and CTS, although some particular work circumstances may be associated with CTS.

Author Information

From the Inserm (Ms Mediouni and Dr Descatha), Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, “Population-Based Epidemiological Cohorts” Research Platform, Villejuif, France; Université Versailles St-Quentin (Ms Mediouni and Dr Descatha), Versailles, France; AP-HP (Ms Mediouni, Ms de Roquemaurel, Ms Garrabe, and Dr Descatha), Occupational Health Unit/EMS (Samu92), University Hospital of West Suburb of Paris, Garches, France; Plastic and Hand Department (Ms Dumontier), Nice University, Hôpital St Roch, Nice, France; Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris (Mr Becour), Hôtel-Dieu University Hospital, Forensic Unit, Paris, France; and LUNAM Université (Mr Roquelaure), Université d'Angers, Laboratoire d'ergonomie et d'épidémiologie en santé au travail, Angers, France.

Address correspondence to: Alexis Descatha, Inserm U1018, UVSQ, Unité de pathologie professionnelle, CHU Poincaré, 104 bd Poincaré, 92380 Garches, France (alexis.descatha@rpc.aphp.fr).

All authors hereby declare that they have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

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Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine