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Background: The authors aimed to explore carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) among electronic sports (esports) athletes, to compare hand symptoms and their severity between esports athletes and the control group and within the esports athletes, and to study the relationship between esports athletes’ variables. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional survey study via telephone with systematic randomized approach was used for esport athletes sampling. Control group were non-esports athletes who do not use computer for prolonged duration. The survey consisted of sports athletes’ characteristics, hand symptoms and functions, and the Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire (BCTQ). The unpaired student’s t-test, Mann-Whitney U test, and χ2 test were utilised for statistical comparison, with p < 0.05. Pearson’s and Spearman’s correlation coefficient tests were used for relationship analyses. Results: Eligible participants were 198 out of 229. Compared to control group, esport athletes reported more CTS (p = 0.01), and radiated pain and numbness in their hands (p = 0.05). Males complained of hand symptoms (p < 0.01) and its radiation (p < 0.01) more than females among esports athletes. Higher BCTQ Symptom Severity Scale (BCTQ-SSS) scores were reported for esports athletes who had been playing esports for prolonged periods compared to those who had playing recently (p = 0.003), with a moderate positive correlation (+0.59, p = 0.004). A significant moderate positive correlation was reported for BCTQ Functional Severity Symptoms (BCTQ-FSS) scores in terms of hours of playing (+0.44, p = 0.04). Esports athletes who used armrests and a PC with a controller for gaming reported less hand symptoms and had milder BCTQ scores than those who used a PC with a keyboard/mouse. Generally, esports athletes spend 5–10 h/day on gaming. Conclusions: Esports athletes might be at risk of developing upper-extremity nerve compression and CTS. Prolonged playing, hours of playing, type of esports device, and using armrests are possible risk factors. Med Pr Work Health Saf. 2023;74(4):279–87.
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