Risk factors for rotator cuff tendinopathy: A systematic review and meta-analysis

J Rehabil Med. 2019 Oct 4;51(9):627-637. doi: 10.2340/16501977-2598.


Objectives: To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to identify risk and associated factors for symptomatic rotator cuff tendinopathy.

Data sources: PubMed, CINAHL and Scopus were searched from inception to June 2017.

Study selection: Participants presented with signs and symptoms suggestive of rotator cuff tendinopathy/tendinosis/tendinitis, shoulder impingement syndrome, or subacromial bursitis diagnosed by clinical tests and/or conventional imaging.

Data extraction: Screening, quality assessment and data extraction were carried out by 2 reviewers.

Data synthesis: Sixteen studies were included in this review. Overall, 22 factors were identified and 5 factors were explored using meta-analysis. Pooled analyses provided strong evidence that age above 50 years (odds ratio (OR)?=?3.31, 95% confidence interval (95% CI)?=?2.304.76, I2?=?0%, p<0.001) and diabetes (OR?=?2.24, 95% CI?=?1.373.65, I2?=?0%, p?=?0.001) were associated with increased risk of rotator cuff tendinopathy. In addition, moderate evidence showed that work with the shoulder above 90° was associated with increased risk of rotator cuff tendinopathy (OR?=?2.41, 95% CI?=?1.314.45, I2=?83%, p?=?0.005).

Conclusion: Age above 50 years, diabetes and overhead activities were associated with increased risk of rotator cuff tendinopathy.

Keywords: meta-analysis; odd ratios; overuse; risks; rotator cuff tendinopathy; shoulder; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Rotator Cuff / pathology*
  • Tendinopathy / complications*