Demographic and Occupational Risk Factors of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome among Dental students in their Final Year at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common peripheral compression neuropathy that accounts for 90% of all entrapment neuropathies. Dentists typically have a higher prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders including CTS. Currently, there is a lack of literature on CTS prevalence and risk factors among dentistry in Saudi Arabia. Our study was the first to examine the prevalence and the associated demographic and occupational factors of CTS among dental students. This cross-sectional study was conducted in the School of Dentistry at King Abdulaziz University. A total of 120 dental students in their final year were included. We used a validated self-administered questionnaire that included demographic data, work, medical history, and a modified Katz's hand diagram to assess the symptoms and occupational exposures. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were applied using SPSS software version 16. The prevalence of CTS among dental students was 13.3%. It was higher in females 10% compared to male 3.3%. There was a significant relationship between the body mass index (P= 0.03) with underweight category by having a higher prevalence of CTS. The use of finger pinch grip showed an inverse association with CTS (P=0.04). Other risk factors were not significantly associated with CTS. The prevalence of CTS among dental students was higher than the general population. However, many previously identified risk factors showed no significant association with CTS adding to the controversy of the contributing risk factors of this disease among dentistry. Finger pinch grip showed inverse association which was contrary to published literature. Future studies may include exposure time for each occupational risk factor preferably in a prospective cohort.