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July 14, 1999

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Environmental and Industrial Health, University of Michigan School of Public Health (Drs Franzblau and Werner); Center for Ergonomics, Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan College of Engineering (Drs Franzblau and Werner); and Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of Michigan Medical School (Dr Werner), Ann Arbor.

JAMA. 1999;282(2):186-187. doi:10.1001/jama.282.2.186

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common diagnosis with an estimated lifetime risk of 10% and an annual incidence of 0.1% among adults.1,2 These estimates are undoubtedly conservative because they are based on data collected prior to the substantial increase in work-related cases of CTS in the 1980s and early 1990s and the concomitant increased awareness of this condition.3,4 More recent estimates of the prevalence of CTS in the general population are 0.6% in men and 5.8% in women.5 Now, data from Sweden reported by Atroshi and colleagues6 in this issue of THE JOURNAL suggest an overall prevalence of 2.1%.

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