Background: The association between working at a video display terminal (VDT) and development of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is not well-established. The study surveyed the prevalence of CTS symptoms, explored the risk factors and evaluated the clinical application of hand diagrams, physical tests and electrodiagnosis among male VDT workers. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed in an information and communication technology company. Three-forty questionnaires were completed and 82 volunteers participated in the physical examination and nerve conduction study. The personal and occupational risk factors for CTS were analyzed. Results: The prevalence of CTS symptoms was 3.8% among 340 subjects, while prolonged median motor distal latency (>4.2 msec) was disclosed in 3.7% of a subgroup receiving examination. Classic/probable CTS symptoms was associated with high body mass index (>28 kg/m2, odds ratio-4.1, P = 0.029) and moderate job seniority (3-5 years, odds ratio = 4.6, P = 0.023). Prolonged median motor distal latency was associated with older age (>35 years old). We did not observe correlation between CTS symptoms, abnormal NCS, positive Tinel's sign or Phalen's test. Conclusion: The prevalence of CTS symptoms was not high among the group of male VDT workers studied. Job seniority, but not specific tasks was associated with CTS symptoms. More reliable and valid methods to quantify the ergonomic exposure are needed to establish the association of VDT tasks and CTS.
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