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Heavy manual work, exposure to vibration and Dupuytren's disease? Results of a surveillance program for musculoskeletal disorders


Introduction This study aimed to determine the prevalence of Dupuytren's disease in men and its relationship with work exposure, particularly heavy manual work with and without significant use of vibrating tools, using data from a surveillance program for musculoskeletal disorders.

Method This cross-sectional study was conducted in France between 2002 and 2005. Dupuytren's disease was diagnosed clinically by one of 83 occupational physicians. Exposure in relation to work status and occupational risk factors was assessed with a self-administered questionnaire, and categorised according to vibration exposure (defined as use of vibrating tools for ≥2 h/day), heavy manual work without vibration exposure (defined as use of hand tools for ≥2 h/day (use of vibrating tools for ≥2 h/day excluded) and Borg scale ≥15/20) and no such exposure. Bivariate and multivariate associations using logistic models were recorded in men and in those with >10 years in the same job.

Results Of 2161 men, 1.3% (n=27) had Dupuytren's disease (mean age 47.1±6.7 years). Heavy manual work without vibration exposure was significantly associated with the condition (adjusted OR (aOR) 3.9; 95% CI 1.3 to 11.5) adjusted on age and diabetes), as was use of vibrating tools (aOR 5.1; 2.1 to 12.2). These associations remained significant among subjects with >10 years in the same job, with increases in aOR of 6.1 (1.5 to 25.0) and 10.7 (3.4 to 34.6), respectively.

Conclusion Despite the limited number of cases, occupational exposure, including both vibration exposure and heavy manual work without significant vibration exposure, was associated with Dupuytren's disease.

  • Dupuytren contracture
  • observational study
  • occupational factor
  • manual work
  • vibration exposure
  • epidemiology
  • occupational health practice
  • musculoskeletal
  • rehabilitation
  • physical work, statistics
  • back disorders
  • repetitive strain injury
  • cancer
  • retrospective exposure assessment
  • asbestos
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