Background Rotator cuff tears are the most common cause of shoulder disability in people older than 50 years, and surgical intervention is usually required for restoring functioning. However, in patients undergoing rotator cuff repair surgery, patients with DM had poorer functional outcomes than those without DM, and hence, DM is one of the possible risks factor for rotator cut off tear. The aim of this population-based study was to investigate the relationship between DM and the risk of rotator cuff tear in patients receiving rotator cuff repair surgery. Methods In this retrospective longitudinal population-based 7-year cohort study, we investigated the risk of rotator cuff repair surgery in patients with DM. We performed a case–control matched analysis by using data from the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2005. Patients were enrolled on the basis of the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification diagnostic codes for DM between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2007. The prevalence and the adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) of a rotator cuff repair surgery in patients with and without DM were estimated according to the Cox proportional hazard regression analysis using the frailty model. Results The DM and non-DM cohorts comprised 58,652 patients with DM and 117,304 (1:2) patients without DM after matching for age and sex. The incidence of rotator cuff repair surgery was 41 per 100,000 and 26 per 100,000 person-years in the DM and non-DM cohorts, respectively. The HR of rotator cuff repair surgery during the follow-up period was 1.56 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.25–1.93, p < 0.001) for patients with DM. After adjustment for covariates, the adjusted HR of rotator cuff repair surgery was 1.33 (95% CI, 1.05–1.68, p < 0.001) in the DM cohort. Conclusion DM is an independent risk factor for rotator cuff tear repair surgery.
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