Surgery for trapeziometacarpal osteoarthritis in relation to cumulative occupational hand force requirements: A Danish nationwide cohort study

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  • Lone Kirkeby
  • Susanne Wulff Svendsen, Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Københavns Universitet, Department of Public Health, Center for Epidemiology and Screening, University of Copenhagen, Danish Ramazzini Centre, Regional Hospital West Jutland-University Research Clinic
  • ,
  • Torben Bæk Hansen
  • Poul Frost

Objectives: To evaluate if higher cumulative occupational hand force requirements are associated with higher risks of surgery for trapeziometacarpal osteoarthritis and with surgery earlier in life. Methods: The study was based on Danish national registers. Among all persons born in Denmark 1931 to 1990, we included those who had been employed for at least 5 years since 1991 by the end of 2000, or later when this employment criterion was reached, up until the end of 2016. Cumulative exposure estimates for 10-year time windows (force-years) were assessed by combining individual year-by-year information on occupational codes with an expert based hand-arm job exposure matrix. First-time events of surgery for trapeziometacarpal osteoarthritis 2001 to 2017 constituted the outcome. Surgery rates were analysed by a logistic regression technique equivalent to discrete survival analysis using a 1-year lag. We also calculated rate advancement periods. Results: A total of 2 860 448 persons contributed with around 48 million person-years of follow-up, during which 3977 cases appeared (821 among men and 3156 among women). Compared with <5 force-years, the adjusted OR (ORadj) for ≥5 to <10 force-years was 1.39 (95% CI 1.14 to 1.68) and for ≥10 to 30 force-years 1.47 (95% CI 1.26 to 1.71) among men and 1.64 (95% CI 1.50 to 1.78) and 1.29 (95% CI 1.16 to 1.43) among women. The sex combined ORadj were 1.59 (95% CI 1.47 to 1.72) and 1.36 (95% CI 1.25 to 1.48). Among the exposed, surgery was advanced by 3 to 7 years. Conclusion: Medium/high cumulative hand force requirements were associated with elevated hazard rates of surgery for trapeziometacarpal osteoarthritis and advanced the time of surgery by several years.

TidsskriftOccupational and Environmental Medicine
StatusAccepteret/In press - 1 jan. 2020

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