Causes of Dupuytren's Disease
An exact cause of Dupuytren's disease is unknown; however, there are some potential causes that most doctors agree may play a role in the condition.
Diabetes is thought to play a large role in Dupuytren's disease. Studies have found a 3 to 33 percent prevalence of Dupuytren's in patients with diabetes; however, these patients tend to have a mild form of Dupuytren's with slow progression*. People with type 1 diabetes mellitus are at greatest risk, followed by people taking metformin and sulfonylureas**.
Trauma to the hand is thought by many doctors to cause Dupuytren's disease. The trauma may be from a blow to the hand or from certain manual jobs that expose the hands to vibration.
Many people may be genetically predisposed to fibrotic tissue disorders such as Dupuytren's disease. People of northern European descent appear to have a much higher incidence of the condition and often have a parent or a close relative with the condition. The condition is also associated with Peyronie's disease and plantar fibromatosis. About 5% of patients with Dupuytren's disease also have plantar fibromatosis, and 3% of patients with Dupuytren's disease will have Peyronie's disease.
Medications/ Vitamins/ Supplements
Medications often used for treating high blood pressure that belong to the drug class known as beta adrenergic blocking agents (beta-blockers) have been reported to cause fibrotic tissue disorders. Anti-seizure medications such as phenytoin and certain supplements such as glucosamine/chondroitin and large doses of supplemental vitamin C may also promote the production of excess collagen.
A higher rate of Dupuytren's disease has been found among patients with conditions such as alcoholic liver disease, smoking, and epilepsy. While these conditions may not be a direct cause of the condition, it may indicate the impact these conditions or medications used to treat them have on wound healing.
**Dupuytren Contracture. 12 Jan. 2007. EMedicine. 8 Aug. 2007. http://www.emedicine.com/derm/topic774.htm