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Carpal tunnel syndrome and diabetes: What is the connection?

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Patients undergoing surgery are carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) may increase your risk of developing diabetes, a recent study showed.


  • Diabetes has been shown to be a risk factor for CTS, the most common strangulation neuropathy, but it remains unclear whether CTS is associated with subsequent diabetes.
  • Using data from the Danish national registry, researchers found that 83,466 patients (median age 54 years, 67% women) who underwent surgery for CTS between January 1996 and December 2018 had diabetes. We evaluated the probability of developing .
  • This study compared the risk of developing diabetes in patients undergoing CTS surgery with that of an age- and sex-matched group of individuals from the general population in a 1:5 ratio (n = 417,330).
  • Patients were followed until diabetes was diagnosed or prescribed hypoglycemic drugs during hospitalization, or until death, emigration, or end of study period (median 7.6 years).
  • Cause-specific Cox proportional hazards models were used to compare the odds of developing diabetes between the two groups.


  • The cumulative incidence of diabetes was higher in the CTS group than in age-matched controls (16.8% vs. 10.3%).
  • Patients who underwent surgery for CTS had a higher risk of developing diabetes within 1 year after surgery (hazard ratio) [HR]1.72) and for the remainder of the study period (>1 year: HR, 1.66).
  • The risk of developing diabetes after CTS surgery was higher in younger patients aged 18 to 39 years (adjusted HR, 2.77) than in older patients aged 70 to 79 years (adjusted HR, 1.29).
  • Patients who underwent bilateral surgery also had a higher risk of developing diabetes than the matched control population (adjusted HR, 1.86).

in fact:

“Identification of patients at risk of DM” [diabetes mellitus] May mediate early initiation of preventive strategies. However, other factors, e.g. obesity and HbA1c “level may influence the association,” the authors wrote.


The research was led by Jeppe Ravn Jacobsen, MSc, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Published online in diabetes, obesity, metabolism.


This study found no association between CTS and future diagnosis. type 1 diabetesThis may be due to the fact that patients younger than 18 years were excluded. Some patients who underwent CTS may have had undetected prediabetes or diabetes at the time of CTS surgery. Furthermore, the registry lacked information on potential confounders such as BMI, smoking history, and blood samples. The association between CTS and diabetes may be due to risk factors common to both, such as obesity.


This study was funded by an internal grant from the Department of Cardiology, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. The authors declared that they had no conflicts of interest.

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