Background: Chronic inflammation is known to be associated with both rotator cuff tears (RCTs) and depression. However, no epidemiological studies with a longitudinal follow-up have been performed to prove this association. We aimed to investigate whether depressed patients had an elevated risk of RCT and subsequent repair surgery compared with those without depression.
Methods: This retrospective cohort study comprised of patients diagnosed with depression between 2000 and 2010 (depression cohort) and patients without depression (non-depression cohort, 1:2 age and sex matched). The risk of RCT and rotator cuff repair surgery were determined during a 13-year follow-up (2000-2013) between these two cohorts.
Results: This study included 26,868 patients with depression and 53,736 patients without depression. The incidence of RCT was 648 and 438 per 100,000 person-years in the depression and non-depression cohorts, respectively. The adjusted hazard ratio (HR) was 1.46 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.36-1.57) for depressed patients. The incidence of rotator cuff repair surgery was 28 and 18 per 100,000 person-years in the depression and non-depression cohorts, respectively. Depressed patients also had a significantly increased risk of subsequent rotator cuff repair surgery (adjusted HR = 1.46; 95% CI, 1.04-2.06).
Conclusion: The present study showed that depression was associated with an increased risk of rotator cuff tear and rotator cuff repair surgery.