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By Brittany Ferri July 02, 2020

Although Dupuytren’s contracture is usually not difficult to detect, we are unsure about the exact cause behind it. Numerous studies have shown that the disease can develop out of what seems like nowhere. Previously, it was believed that people who engage in more physical activities have a higher chance of getting this disease. However, we now know that genetics plays a more critical role than was once believed.

But, we cannot deny the fact that people who have very tedious and laborious jobs may end up with severe cases of the disease. This is because putting too much pressure on your hands can cause symptoms to worsen. The presence of other medical conditions may increase the possibility that someone will develop this condition. A person's lifestyle choices have an impact as well. In particular, daily consumption of alcohol can sharply increase the risk. Plus, smokers are more likely to have the condition.

Risk Factors for Developing Dupuytren's Contracture

Although the causes for this disease are unknown, several risk factors may increase the possibility of developing the syndrome. They are:

  • Age: People above the age of 50 are more likely to report this condition. However, an increasing number of younger people are now being diagnosed with Dupuytren’s contracture.
  • Gender: Men have a higher risk of developing this disease compared to women. They may also experience more severe hand contractures than women.
  • Ancestry: Dupuytren’s Disease is known to prevail more commonly in Northern European Caucasians. It affects 30% of people in Norway who are over 60 years old. North European countries have the highest likelihood of inheriting this disease. Studies have also revealed that 4% of males in the UK suffer from Dupuytren’s disease.
  • Family History: Some reports show that Dupuytren’s is a genetic disease, but we need more research before confirming this link.
  • Alcohol Use and Smoking: Smoking causes many minuscule changes in the blood vessels. Since Dupuytren's occurs in the palm, some believe that these changes can cause the disease or at least make it worse. People who consume alcohol may also be at risk. For this reason, it's important that you minimize these habits if you want to live a healthy life.
  • Diabetes: People who have diabetes (and other circulatory conditions) also have a higher risk of catching the disease. The same goes for similar conditions, including hypertension.

It's necessary to remember that these causes and risk factors are based on quantitative research of people suffering from Dupuytren’s disease. People who do not fit into any of these risk factors may still develop Dupuytren's, since there is still much to learn about this condition.

Brittany Ferri
Brittany Ferri

Brittany is a registered and licensed occupational therapist who has 6 years of clinical experience treating conditions such as Dupuytren's, arthritis, carpal tunnel, and more. She is passionate about educating others about their health.