Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand News

Dupuytren's Disease: Environment or Heredity?

Scientists are looking for a genetic model to explain Dupuytren's Disease (DD). DD is a benign condition. It causes thick, scar tissue to form in the palm of the hand. One or more fingers are pulled into flexion. It's a common problem in northern European white populations.

In this study adults from northwestern England were recruited. Each one had surgery for DD. Family members were part of the study. Each one filled out a survey. Questions were asked about work history, smoking, and use of alcohol. Special note was made of anyone with liver disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, or epilepsy.

Computer software was used to analyze family history, risk factors, and patterns of disease among siblings. The authors report the following results:

  • Adults with a positive family history of Dupuytren's started getting symptoms earlier than those without a family history.
  • Severity of Dupuytren's is greater for those with a positive family history.
  • Patients with a positive family history who develop Dupuytren's have more fingers affected than those with no family history.
  • The incidence of a family history of DD was 41 percent in this study; this is the same as reported in other studies.
  • In this study there was no link between family members having Dupuytren's and the shared environment (alcohol use, work status, smoking).

    According to the results of this study DD is more likely to be caused by genetics than environmental risk factors. This information may help doctors identify affected individuals. Treatment can be offered sooner.

    Sandip Hindocha, MBChB, et al. The Heritability of Dupuytren's Disease: Familial Aggregation and Its Clinical Significance. In The Journal of Hand Surgery. February 2006. Vol. 31A. No. 2. Pp. 204-210.


    *Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
    All content provided by eORTHOPOD® is a registered trademark of Medical Multimedia Group, L.L.C.. Content is the sole property of Medical Multimedia Group, LLC and used herein by permission.
  • Our Specialties

    Where Does It Hurt?

    Our Locations

      Follow Us

    Follow us on Facebook Follow us on YouTube
    Follow us on Twitter