The true cause of Dupuytren’s disease is still unknown. Studies have however investigated whether a link exists between the disease and the following: 

  • Genetics: One study suggests that almost 70% of people who develop Dupuytren’s disease have a family history of the condition.1
  • Diabetes: There is a strong association between diabetes and Dupuytren’s disease, with a reported prevalence of between 3% and 32% and an average of around 20%.2 People with diabetes tend to have milder forms of Dupuytren’s disease2 with fewer cases of contractures and less patients requiring surgery.2 In people with diabetes, Dupuytren’s disease occurs equally in men and women.3
  • Alcohol: Some studies have shown that a high alcohol intake per week is associated with an increased risk of Dupuytren’s disease.4

  • Epilepsy: Studies of the link between Dupuytren’s disease and epilepsy have shown varying results, with some studies reporting connections between epilepsy / anticonvulsant medicines and Dupuytren’s disease4 but others not finding an association.5
  • Injury: Injury was the original cause proposed when the disease was first treated by Baron Dupuytren and patients often believe heavy labour or injury has caused their condition. However, some studies have concluded that the prevalence of Dupuytren’s disease among manual workers is no different than in those whose main work does not entail manual labour, and no clear link has been established.4



  1. Ling RS et al. J Bone Joint Surg BR. 1963;45:709-718
  2. Noble J, et al. J Bone Joint Surg .1984;66:322-5
  3. Arkkila PE et al. J Rheumatol. 1997;24:153-159
  4. Hart MG and Hooper G. Postgrad Med J. 2005;81:425-428
  5. Geoghegan JM et al. J Hand surg Br. 2004;29:423-426