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Why is Research on Dupuytren’s Contracture So Scarce?

September 28, 2020

Despite having a record of affecting almost 5% of the entire US population, the research on Dupuytren’s contracture remains scarce. There is a lack of research on this disease mainly because it is often misdiagnosed


The first few symptoms of Dupuytren’s contracture are quite similar to the symptoms of other diseases that affect the palmar fascia.


This is usually the main reason why researchers fail to learn more about this famous yet mysterious disease.


Other factors that play a role in the lack of research on this disease is its somewhat confusing risk factors. 


Other than a number of the usual risk factors such as age, gender and even other diseases, Dupuytren’s contracture also shows indications of being a genetic disease


Scientists aren’t yet sure if the disease is genetic. Some believe that it is but some believe that genetics do not play any role in the disease. The good thing is that research on the topic is continued.

Other Conditions That May Predispose to Dupuytren's Contracture

 

Here is what we know about this disease so far. 


Other than age and gender factors, a few other risk factors that may aggravate Dupuytren’s contracture include:


  • Diabetes

Depending on the severity and how long someone has had diabetes for, there is an almost 10 times increased risk of diabetic patients developing Dupuytren’s contracture. 


Diabetic people may begin to experience difficulty in bending or stretching their fingers which may develop into Dupuytren’s contracture. Luckily, the developed disease is not the aggressive form. However, it can still cause problems with hand movement.

  • Alcoholism and Smoking

This risk factor, although common, is still subject to numerous debates. However, researches have shown that those who consume alcohol and have become victims of alcoholic liver disease have a higher chance of having Dupuytren’s contracture.


Similarly, smoking may also be a huge factor that predisposes to Dupuytren’s contracture. Smokers are twice as likely to develop Dupuytren’s contracture in their life when compared to those who do not smoke. 


This is why we suggest that you avoid these bad habits.

  • Trauma

According to a study, people who have suffered some kind of hand trauma have a 40% higher chance of reporting the disease.


People who have previously fractured their hand, or more specifically the distal radius bone in the wrist, are more susceptible to having issues with moving their fingers, which can lead to Dupuytren’s contracture.


Other than these common factors, more diseases such as arthritis, thyroid disorders and even exposure to overstretching can lead to the development of Dupuytren’s contracture. 

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