Introduction and objective:
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common condition characterized by the compression of the median nerve in the wrist. Left untreated, it leads to significant discomfort and loss of motor function in the hand. The aim of this systematic review is to identify and evaluate recent research on risk factors associated with CTS.

Review methods:
A systematic search of the PubMed/MEDLINE database was conducted, focusing on studies published within the last 5 years. The search strategy used relevant key words related to CTS and risk factors. Studies were included if they provided information on risk factors associated with CTS in the adult population. Review articles, systematic reviews and meta-analyses were excluded.

Brief description of the state of knowledge:
Risk factors for CTS include repetitive hand movements in occupations that require typing, certain anatomical and physiological characteristics (e.g., smaller carpal tunnel size), age (risk increases with age), gender (higher risk in women), pregnancy, medical conditions (e.g., obesity, diabetes, arthritis, metabolic syndrome), and previous trauma or injury to the wrist. On-going research continues to shed light on the subject

The systematic review found that physical labour, working in pain, and certain co-morbidities were strongly associated with an increased risk of developing CTS. Occupations such as grocery store workers, hairdressers, telephone operators and manual labourers (blue-collar workers) showed a significant association with the development of CTS, compared to the general population. Further studies are needed to investigate the potential impact of bilateral ovarian resection and alcohol consumption as risk factors. These findings underscore the importance of considering occupational factors and co-morbidities when assessing the risk of CTS.

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