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Health Information Center

Risk Factors for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Risk Factors for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

A risk factor is something that raises the chances of getting a health problem. A person can get carpal tunnel syndrome with or without the ones listed below. The chances of getting it are higher in people who have many risk factors.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is more common in people over 50 years of age. Being pregnant can also be a risk factor. Other things that can raise the risk are:


This problem is more common in people who do the same movements with their hands and wrists over and over. Examples are:
  • Computer users
  • Factory workers
  • Barbers
  • Musicians
  • Drivers


People who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of this health problem.


The hormone changes that happen during menopause can raise the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.


  • Carpal tunnel syndrome. American Society for Surgery of the Hand website. Available at: https://handcare.assh.org/Anatomy/Details-Page/ArticleID/27950/Carpal-Tunnel-Syndrome. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/carpal-tunnel-syndrome. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/health-information/patient-caregiver-education/fact-sheets/carpal-tunnel-syndrome-fact-sheet. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  • Clinical Practice Guideline on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: https://www.aaos.org/quality/quality-programs/upper-extremity-programs/carpal-tunnel-syndrome. Accessed May 3, 2022.


  • James P. Cornell, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.