The prevalence of a diabetic condition and adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder

South Med J. 2008 Jun;101(6):591-5. doi: 10.1097/SMJ.0b013e3181705d39.


Objectives: Adhesive capsulitis is characterized by a progressive and painful loss of shoulder motion of unknown etiology. Previous studies have found the prevalence of adhesive capsulitis to be slightly greater than 2% in the general population. However, the relationship between adhesive capsulitis and diabetes mellitus (DM) is well documented, with the incidence of adhesive capsulitis being two to four times higher in diabetics than in the general population. It affects about 20% of people with diabetes and has been described as the most disabling of the common musculoskeletal manifestations of diabetes.

Methods: Consented patients presenting with adhesive capsulitis reporting no history of DM had blood testing for diabetes and prediabetes. An anonymous database was analyzed for a diabetic condition.

Results: The prevalence of diabetes in patients with adhesive capsulitis was 38.6% (34 of 88). The prevalence of prediabetes was 32.95% (29 of 88). The total prevalence of a diabetic condition in patients with adhesive capsulitis was 71.5% (63 of 88). Previous literature fails to reveal the incidence of newly diagnosed diabetes, 2 of 88 (2%), and prediabetes, 25 of 88 (28.4%) in patients presenting with adhesive capsulitis. Early diagnosis and effective management of DM reduces the risk of microvascular complications. DM is believed to play a role in the development of musculoskeletal complications.

Conclusions: Awareness of these findings alerts the practitioner to the risk of diabetes and prediabetes in patients presenting with adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bursitis / diagnosis
  • Bursitis / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prediabetic State / diagnosis
  • Prediabetic State / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Shoulder*
  • Statistics as Topic