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BMC Public Health

, 8:374

First Online: 28 October 2008Received: 05 March 2008Accepted: 28 October 2008DOI: 10.1186-1471-2458-8-374

Cite this article as: Mattioli, S., Baldasseroni, A., Curti, S. et al. BMC Public Health 2008 8: 374. doi:10.1186-1471-2458-8-374


BackgroundCarpal tunnel syndrome CTS is a socially relevant condition associated with biomechanical risk factors. We evaluated age-sex-specific incidence rates of in-hospital cases of CTS in central-northern Italy and explored relations with marital status.

MethodsSeven regions were considered overall population, 14.9 million over 3–6-year periods between 1997 and 2002 when out-of-hospital CTS surgery was extremely rare. Incidence rates of in-hospital cases of CTS were estimated based on 1 codified demographic, diagnostic and intervention data in obligatory discharge records from all Italian public-private hospitals, archived according to residence on regional databases; 2 demographic general population data for each region. We compared using the χscore test age-sex-specific rates between married, unmarried, divorced and widowed subsets of the general population. We calculated standardized incidence ratios SIRs for married-unmarried men and women.

ResultsAge-standardized incidence rates per 100,000 person-years of in-hospital cases of CTS were 166 in women and 44 in men 106 overall. Married subjects of both sexes showed higher age-specific rates with respect to unmarried men-women. SIRs were calculated comparing married vs unmarried rates of both sexes: 1.59 95% confidence interval 95% CI, 1.57–1.60 in women, and 1.42 95% CI, 1.40–1.45 in men. As compared with married women-men, widows-widowers both showed 2–3-fold higher incidence peaks during the fourth decade of life beyond 50 years of age, widowed subjects showed similar trends to unmarried counterparts.

ConclusionThis large population-based study illustrates distinct age-related trends in men and women, and also raises the question whether marital status could be associated with CTS in the general population.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2458-8-374 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Stefano Mattioli - Alberto Baldasseroni - Stefania Curti - Robin MT Cooke - Antonella Bena - Giovanna de Giacomi - Marco d


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