Although the genetic factors behind Dupuytren’s Contracture are still unknown, studies have revealed that this common connective tissue disorder is most prevalent in Northern European caucasians. Almost 30% of the Norwegian population, especially those over the age of 60, develop this irreversible and progressive disease.
On the other hand, different ethnicities develop fewer cases of Dupuytren’s. Outside of Europe, the place that Dupuytren’s Contracture most commonly occurs is Australia, where about 22% of people over the age of 60 are affected by it.
The most common perception that people have regarding Dupuytren’s Contracture is that women are more susceptible to developing this hand deformity. This belief comes from women having an increased likelihood of bone problems such as osteoporosis. Of the 80 million people in America affected by osteoporosis, almost 80% are women.
Since Dupuytren’s Contracture is also a deformity affecting the bones of the palm, people automatically assume that women are more likely to develop this issue in their fingers. However, this is incorrect. The statistics actually reveal that men over the age of 40 have a higher chance of developing Dupuytren’s Contracture than women of the same age do. Another study conducted in different regions of Australia and Europe revealed that the affected ratio between men and women varied quite significantly.
The prevalence of Dupuytren’s Contracture in both men and women is largely dependent on age. When certain places have high percentages of women with Dupuytren's Contracture, these numbers actually become far more aligned as men age beyond 55 years.
Women above 60 years of age are more likely to develop Dupuytren’s Contracture, specifically in the palm. It's unknown why this distinction occurs in such a specific part of the body, but it has been observed in many different locations so it doesn't appear to be a regional trend.
It is important to note that regardless of gender or age, Dupuytren’s Contracture knows no boundaries and can affect anyone. We do know that people over the age of 40 - both male and female - are more at risk than those who are under the age of 30. Someone's risk for Dupuytren's also depends on factors such as family history, repetitive work or leisure activities that involve the hand, and alcohol consumption.