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Systematic review
Dyslipidaemia is associated with an increased risk of rotator cuff disease: a systematic review
  1. Austin E MacDonald1,
  2. Seper Ekhtiari1,
  3. Moin Khan1,2,
  4. Jaydeep K Moro1,
  5. Asheesh Bedi2,
  6. Bruce S Miller2
  1. 1 Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2 MedSport, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Bruce S Miller, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Michigan, MedSport, 24 Frank Lloyd Wright Drive, Lobby A, Ann Arbor, MI 48106, USA; bsmiller{at}


Importance Rotator cuff disease affects more than 50% of the population over 60 years of age. It has been suggested that dyslipidaemia is associated with the development of rotator cuff disease.

Objective The aim of this review was to present the available literature on the relationship between lipid disorders and rotator cuff disease and to report on the implications of lipid disorders on the surgical management and postoperative healing of rotator cuff tears.

Evidence review Medline, Embase and PubMed were searched from inception until 18 January 2017. Studies were screened and data were extracted in duplicate. A methodological assessment was performed for included studies.

Findings Nine studies were found to meet the inclusion criteria. Seven of the included studies identified an association between the prevalence of dyslipidaemia and rotator cuff disease. Patients with dyslipidaemia were also found to have more severe rotator cuff tears.

Conclusions and relevance The results of this study suggest an association between blood lipid levels and rotator cuff pathology. Specifically, patients with dyslipidaemia are potentially at higher risk for shoulder pain, rotator cuff tears and more severe rotator cuff tears. Further research is required to identify the effect of lipid-lowering medications on the natural history of rotator cuff disease and the impact on conservative and surgical treatment of rotator cuff pathology.

Level of evidence LevelsII–IVclinical studies.

  • lipids
  • rotator cuff disease
  • rotator cuff tear
  • dyslipidemia
  • cholesterol
  • lipoproteins
  • triglycerides
  • shoulder
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  • Contributors All listed authors have made significant contributions to this project in multiple realms of study design, data preparation, interpretation and critical analysis. All authors have had full and unencumbered access to the data and manuscript and have given it their full approval.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement All raw data for this project are available upon request.

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