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The aim was to assess the persistence of rotator cuff syndrome (RCS) in workers and to study associations with personal and work-related factors, job change, exposure change and treatment.At baseline, 274 workers suffered from RCS, of whom 150 were followed up. Three groups were constituted: (1) a RCS recovery group, (2) a shoulder pain without RCS group, and (3) a RCS without recovery group. We studied the differences between groups (1) and (3) because of the low number of workers in group (2).Recovery occurred in 61.5% of men and 51.4% of women. Factors related to work were associated with persistence of RCS in men whereas upper limb pain and absence of job rotation were associated with persistence of RCS in women.This descriptive study showed that a high percentage of workers recovered and several personal and work-related factors were associated with persistent RCS. Larger prospective studies are needed to confirm these results. Am. J. Ind. Med. 57:683–694, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.