de Quervain's Remains a PuzzleStenosing tenosynovitis, or narrowing and inflammation of first extensor compartment of the wrist is called de Quervain's disease. This happens when the sheath of the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist are inflamed or swollen. The disorder affects more men than women, particularly in women who are pregnant or breast feeding. No-one knows what causes de Quervain's. The authors of this article reviewed the epidemiology to see who is more likely to develop the syndrome.
Researchers went through the Defense medical Epidemiology Database, which collects and stores information on military personnel throughout the country. The researchers broke down the categories to race, gender, military service, rank, and age. They found 11,332 causes of de Quervain's in the records. Interestingly, the sex of the person was significant - In under 20s, women did have a higher rate of the disorder than men, at a rage of 2.8 cases per 1000 person years while men only had a rate of 0.6. The next highest at-risk age was the 40 years and older group. They had a rate of 2.0 per 1000 person years compared with the under 20s who had a rate of 0.6.
Race played a role as well. Being non-white was a higher risk factor than being white. Blacks had a rate of 1.31 per 1000 person years, others at 1.03, and whites had a rate of 0.82.
The authors wrote that the disorder seems to be the same world-wide. In France, the ration was three women to every man who had de Quervain's.
There were some limitations to the study, the authors noted. Using military personnel for a health study is limiting due to their unique, usually healthy, situation, as well as sex differences, age, and activity levels. That being said, the records made for an excellent study group.
Jennifer Moriatis Wolf, MD, Rodney X. Sturdivant, PhD, and Brett D. Owens, MD. Incidence of de Quervain's Tenosynovitis in a Young, Active Population. In Journal of Hand Surgery. January 2009. Vol. 34A. Pp. 112 to 115.
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