HealthDay News — The incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) does not appear to be elevated among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a study published recently in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Kwang-Hyun Lee, MD, from the Hanyang University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues examined the incidence of CTS among patients with RA in a retrospective cohort study. The incidence rate of CTS was assessed among 1,070 patients with RA who participated in follow-up at least once over a five-year period.

The researchers identified 37 cases of CTS in the cohort, and the cumulative incidence for 12 years of CTS in patients with RA was 6.8%. In patients with RA, the incidence rate was 4.18 per 1,000 person-years. CTS occurrence was not significantly associated with RA duration. There was no positive correlation seen between CTS occurrence and C-reactive protein levels.

“Our incidence rate of CTS in patients with RA was similar to the incidence rate of CTS in the general population (0.3 to 5.0 per 1,000 person-years),” the authors write. “CTS occurrence did not correlate with duration of RA and had no positive correlation with disease activity of RA.”

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1. Lee K, et al. Int J Rheum Dis. 2015; 18(1): 52-57.