Get a grip of the causes

The true cause of Dupuytren's disease is still unknown and a lot of different theories concerning the cause of it have been proposed. Heredity is only cause that is truly accepted. Almost 70% of people who develop Dupuytren's disease have a family history of the condition, the remaining cases are sporadic.1

Other possible causes of Dupuytren's disease

There is a strong association between diabetes and Dupuytren's disease, with a reported prevalence of between 3% and 32% and an average of around 20%.2 People with diabetes tend to have milder forms of Dupuytren's disease with fewer cases of contractures and less patients requiring surgery.2,3 In people with diabetes, Dupuytren's disease occurs equally in men and women.3

Some studies have shown that a high alcohol intake per week is associated with an increased risk of Dupuytren's disease.4

Smoking can increase the risk of developing the disease.5

Studies regarding a link between Dupuytren's disease and epilepsy have shown varying results, with some reporting connections between epilepsy / drugs that control seizures and Dupuytren's disease, and others not finding an association.4,6-9

Injury or heavy work
Injury was the original cause proposed when the disease was first treated by Baron Dupuytren and patients often believe heavy labour or injury has caused their condition. However, some studies have concluded that the prevalence of Dupuytren's disease among manual workers is no different than in those whose main work does not entail manual labour. No clear link has been established.10,11


  1. Ling RS. J bone Joint Surg Br 1963;45:709-18.
  2. Noble J, et al. J Bone Joint Surg 1984;66:322-5.
  3. Arkkila PE, et al. J Reumato. 1997;24:153-9.
  4. Hart MG and Hooper G. Postgrad Med J 2005;81:425-428.
  5. Gudmundsen KG et al. J Clin Epidemiol. 2000;291–296.
  6. Thurston A. J Bone Joint Surg 2003;85-B:469-77.
  7. Lund M. Acta Psychiatry Neuro/1941;16:465-92.
  8. Geoghegan JM, et al. J Hand Surg Br 2004;29:423-6.
  9. Arafa M, et al. J Hand Surg Br 1992;17:221-4.
  10. Bayat A and McGrouther DA. Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2006;88:3-8.
  11. Trojian TH and Chu SM. Am Fam Physician 2007;76:86-9.