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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders

, 18:227

Epidemiology of musculoskeletal disorders


BackgroundThe pathophysiology of lateral epicondylitis LE is unclear. Recent evidence suggests some common musculoskeletal disorders may have a basis in cardiovascular disease CVD risk factors. Thus, we examined CVD risks as potential LE risks.

MethodsWorkers n = 1824 were enrolled in two large prospective studies and underwent structured interviews and physical examinations at baseline. Analysis of pooled baseline data assessed the relationships separately between a modified Framingham Heart Study CVD risk score and three prevalence outcomes of: 1 lateral elbow pain, 2 positive resisted wrist or middle finger extension, and 3 a combination of both symptoms and at least one resisted maneuver. Quantified job exposures, personal and psychosocial confounders were statistically controlled. Odds ratios ORs and 95% Confidence Intervals CIs were calculated.

ResultsThere was a strong relationship between CVD risk score and lateral elbow symptoms, resisted wrist or middle finger extension and LE after adjustment for confounders. The adjusted ORs for symptoms were as high as 3.81 95% CI 2.11, 6.85, for positive examination with adjusted odds ratios as high as 2.85 95% CI 1.59, 5.12 and for combined symptoms and physical examination 6.20 95% CI 2.04, 18.82. Relationships trended higher with higher CVD risk scores.

ConclusionsThese data suggest a potentially modifiable disease mechanism for LE.

AbbreviationsBMIBody Mass Index

CIConfidence Interval

CTSCarpal Tunnel Syndrome

CVDCardiovascular Disease

LELateral Epicondylitis

MSDMusculoskeletal Disorder

NIOSHNational Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

OROdds Ratio

SIStrain Index



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