BackgroundSuperior labral anterior-posterior (SLAP) tears can be associated with pain and shoulder dysfunction. Relatively little is known about the age-related prevalence of SLAP tears.
PurposeTo investigate the age-related prevalence of imaging-diagnosed SLAP tears in a heterogeneous grouping of shoulder conditions in a large cohort at a single institution with multiple blinded reviewers.
Study designCross-sectional study; Level of evidence, 3.
MethodsA total of 281 shoulder magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans obtained over 8 months were reviewed by a musculoskeletal radiologist and an orthopaedic surgeon. The mean ± SD age of the group was 49.6 ± 15.5 years, and 107 of the patients were female (38.1%). Patients were divided into 4 age groups: 35 years or younger, 36 to 50 years, 51 to 65 years, and older than 65 years. Statistical analyses were completed by use of the Fisher exact test to compare proportions of SLAP tears between age groups, odds ratios to determine the likelihood of having a SLAP tear in each age group, and a logistic regression to control for associated abnormalities.
ResultsThere was a significant diffference in the proportion of SLAP tears found on the MRIs for each age group (P < .001). Patients were significantly more likely to have SLAP tears if aged 51 to 65 years (66.7%; odds ratio [OR], 2.00; 95% CI, 1.27-3.15) and if older than 65 years (81.2%; OR, 4.31; 95% CI, 2.36-7.88). No increased prevalence was observed in patients aged 35 years or younger (47.5%; OR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.55-1.50) or 36 to 50 years (51.8%; OR, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.70-1.67). Logistic regression demonstrated that age was the only significant predictor for having a SLAP tear (P < .001). Kappa values were 0.46 to 0.65 between reviewers, indicating moderate to substantial agreement.
ConclusionAn increasing prevalence of MRI-based SLAP tears was observed with increasing patient age. Patients older than 50 years were significantly more likely to have superior labral abnormalities regardless of other shoulder injury or disease.