Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Runs in the Family

April 26, 2001 ( - A study of 200 patients with suspected Carpal Tunnel Syndrome shows that the disorder tends to run in families.

The study by the Essex Centre for Neurosciences in the United Kingdom was presented at a meeting of the European Neurological Society,

The diagnosis of the disorder was positive in 140, or 70%, of the patients, and of these:

  • almost 40% had predisposing risk factors,
  • some 18% had a positive family history,
  • and  8% had both,
  • while 36% had neither risk factors nor a family history.

All in the Family

A family history of the repetitive motion disorder was confirmed by electrophysiological testing of relatives in 65% of cases.

In the confirmed cases with a positive family history:

  • 70% had first-degree relatives with the disease
  • 30% had second-degree relatives with the syndrome

Overall, the results show that 17% of patients with carpal tunnel syndrome have a family history of the condition that cannot be explained by familial diseases associated with the disorder such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, psoriasis or gout.