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From a retrospective, cohort study of 205 patients diagnosed with full-thickness tears of the rotator cuff, we determined, using ultrasound, the prevalence of such tears in their 129 siblings. Using 150 spouses as controls, the relative risk of full-thickness tears in siblings versus controls was 2.42 (95% CI 1.77 to 3.31). The relative risk of symptomatic full-thickness tears in siblings versus controls was 4.65 (95% CI 2.42 to 8.63). The significantly increased risk for tears in siblings implies that genetic factors play a major role in the development of full-thickness tears of the rotator cuff.

Original publication




Journal article


J Bone Joint Surg Br

Publication Date





696 - 700


Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Epidemiologic Methods, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Pedigree, Rotator Cuff Injuries, Rupture, Siblings