OBJECTIVE: To determine the incidence of Achilles tendon rupture in Scotland from 1980 to 1995. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data. SETTING: Data were obtained from the National Health Service Information and Statistics Division and analyzed in terms of age- and gender-specific incidence rates and time trends by age group. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 4,201 patients with Achilles tendon ruptures occurring during the study period. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Calculation of incidence and of seasonality. RESULTS: The overall incidence of Achilles tendon rupture increased from 4.7/100,000 in 1981 to 6/100,000 in 1994, with a peak in 1986. In men, the incidence rose from 6.3/100,000 to 7.3/100,000. In women, the increase in incidence was more pronounced, from 3/100,000 to 4.7/100,000. In men, peak incidence rate occurred in the 30- to 39-year age group, whereas in women, the peak age-specific incidence occurred in those aged 80 years and older, with a steady increase after age 60. There was no evidence of a seasonality effect in the rate of occurrence of Achilles tendon rupture. A bimodal distribution of age at time of Achilles tendon rupture was noted. CONCLUSION: There was a significant increase in the incidence of Achilles tendon rupture during the period from 1980 to 1995. This reflects the increased incidence of the injury noted in other Northern European countries.
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