Overweight, Obesity May Up Risk for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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A meta-analysis has established a link between overweight/obesity and carpal tunnel syndrome.
A meta-analysis has established a link between overweight/obesity and carpal tunnel syndrome.

(HealthDay News) — Overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk for carpal tunnel syndrome, according to a meta-analysis published in Obesity Reviews.

Rahman Shiri, MD PhD, MPH, from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in Helsinki, and colleagues examined the association between overweight/obesity and carpal tunnel syndrome, and whether sex modifies the correlation. 

A meta-analysis was performed on 58 studies involving 1,379,372 individuals.

The risk for carpal tunnel syndrome or carpal tunnel release was increased with overweight and obesity (pooled confounder-adjusted odds ratios, 1.47 and 2.02, respectively), the researchers found. The risk for carpal tunnel syndrome was increased by 7.4% for every one-unit increase in BMI (adjusted odds ratio, 1.074). 

The effects of overweight and obesity were stronger on carpal tunnel release than carpal tunnel syndrome. 

The correlations did not differ for men and women and were not affected by study design.

"As the prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing globally, overweight-related [carpal tunnel syndrome] is expected to increase," the researchers wrote. "Future studies should investigate whether a square-shaped wrist and exposure to physical workload factors potentiate the adverse effect of obesity on the median nerve."

Reference

  1. Shiri R, Pourmemari MH, Falah-Hassani K, Viikari-Juntura E. The effect of excess body mass on the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome: a meta-analysis of 58 studies. Obes Rev. 2015;doi:10.1111/obr.12324.
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