Overweight, Obesity Increase Risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

HealthDay News — Overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), according to a meta-analysis published in Obesity Reviews.

Rahman Shiri, MD, PhD, MPH, from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in Helsinki, and colleagues examined the association between overweight/obesity and CTS, and whether sex modifies the correlation. A meta-analysis was performed on 58 studies involving 1,379,372 individuals.

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The researchers found that the risk of CTS or carpal tunnel release was increased with overweight and obesity (pooled confounder-adjusted odds ratios, 1.47 and 2.02, respectively). The risk of CTS was increased by 7.4% for every one-unit increase in body mass index (adjusted odds ratio, 1.074). The effects of overweight and obesity were stronger on carpal tunnel release than CTS. The correlations did not differ for men and women and were not affected by study design.

“As the prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing globally, overweight-related CTS is expected to increase,” the authors wrote. “Future studies should investigate whether a square-shaped wrist and exposure to physical workload factors potentiate the adverse effect of obesity on the median nerve.”


1. Shiri R, Pourmemari M.H. The effect of excess body mass on the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome: a meta-analysis of 58 studies. Obes. Rev. doi:10.1111/obr.12324.