The Association between Smoking Behavior and Severity of Rotator Cuff Tear of the Shoulder

Authors: Stefano Gumina1, Stefano Carbone, Valerio Arceri, Alessandro Rita, Vincenzo Campagna Carlo Fagnani, Franco Postacchini

References: Presented at ICSES 2010

Introduction: The relationship between smoking behavior and rotator cuff tear is well documented. The aim of our study is to investigate the association between smoking habit and tear size.

Materials and methods: 408 consecutive patients (199M-209F, mean aged 64 yrs -range 41-75) arthroscopically treated for rotator cuff tear were enrolled for the study. Cuff tears were classified as small, large, massive or irreparable. We have analyzed the frequency of smokers (#:131, 32.1%) across patients with different cuff tear dimensions. Furthermore, we investigated the association of the amount of smoke exposure (average number of cigarettes per day; total number of cigarettes in life) with the tear size by using the ANCOVA method with age and gender as covariates.

Results: The frequency of smokers increased across patients with increasing severity of tears; however the difference resulted statistically significant only between patients with a small tear (23.2%) and those with large or wider tear (34.8%) (p=0.033).

ANCOVA method demonstrated that the higher is the exposure to smoke the wider is the dimension of the tear (p=0.04), independently on age and gender.

Conclusion: Our data showed that smoking habit is related to cuff tear size; furthermore, exposure to the cigarettes smoke predisposes to the develop of wide cuff tears.


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