http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/golfers-elbow/basics/risk-factors/con-20027964 says:

You could be at higher risk of developing golfer's elbow if you're:

  • Age 40 or older
  • Performing repetitive activity at least two hours a day
  • Obese
  • A smoker

Why would smoking increase the risk of developing medial epicondylitis?

Note that the claim itself seems to be debated in some studies, e.g.:

Otoshi, Kenichi, Misa Takegami, Miho Sekiguchi, Yoshihiro Onishi, Shin Yamazaki, Koji Otani, Hiroaki Shishido, Shunichi Fukuhara, Shinichi Kikuchi, and Shinichi Konno. "Chronic hyperglycemia increases the risk of lateral epicondylitis: the Locomotive Syndrome and Health Outcome in Aizu Cohort Study (LOHAS)." SpringerPlus 4, no. 1 (2015): 1-9.

Age and sex, as well as occupational status, smoking and alcohol preference, and other medical characteristics showed no significant association with higher risk of lateral epicondylitis.

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1 Answer 1


Not too many studies showed any correlation between smoking and risk of epicondylitis but only one study mentioned it. They say:

Smoking may interfere with the circulation to tendons, which not only places these tissues at risk for injury but also slows or prevents their healing during a recovery period. That former smokers are also at higher risk of epicondylitis suggests that previous exposure to tobacco may have persistent effects on the vascular system. Increased risk of epicondylitis among smokers may also be due to other lifestyle factors associated with smoking.

(Prevalence and Determinants of Lateral and Medial Epicondylitis)

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