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Dupuytren’s Contracture: Causes and Risk Factors

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What are Dupuytren’s Contracture Risk Factors? continued...

Although injury and excessive hand use are not believed to cause Dupuytren’s, higher rates of Dupuytren’s disease have been observed in people with hand trauma.

Patients often assume a connection because they may experience initial symptoms when engaged in activities involving the hands. “Since this disease is most common in older men, some men first notice a nodule on their palm when they’re playing golf and assume that holding the club caused the condition," says Baxamusa.

While some experts cite alcohol and tobacco use as possible risk factors, Segalman calls this a "soft" association that hasn't been firmly established. He adds that people of Northern European and Nordic descent tend to have higher rates of alcohol consumption in general, so it is difficult to identify a definitive connection.

Dupuytren’s: The Prognosis

Centuries after it was first identified, the origins of this puzzling condition are still not understood. And while modern science has developed a number of effective treatments to provide temporary relief, there is no cure. 

Specialists who work with Dupuytren’s patients every day, like Segalman and Baxamusa, say that recurrence rates are high. After treatment, symptoms are likely to recur.

"The good news is that Dupuytren’s is a painless condition, and most patients who receive treatment have satisfactory outcomes, as long as their expectations are realistic. The bad news is that even with treatment, this condition isn't going away," says Baxamusa.

WebMD Feature

Reviewed by Sharon Horesh Bergquist, MD on August 08, 2010
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