Is Dupuytren’s contracture a rare disease?

Is Dupuytren’s contracture a rare disease or is it common.



I suppose the rarity of Dupuytren contracture would be judged differently in different parts of the world.   In several countries it might be considered rather common, while in other parts of the world it would be rather rare.

Dupuytren’s contracture is listed as a rare disease by the Office of Rare Diseases (ORD) of the National Institute of Health  (NIH) because they estimate that this problem affects less than 200,000 people in the US population.  However, some studies show that Dupuytren contracture  is common in the United States, with a prevalence of 4.4%, due primarily from current citizens whose ancestors immigrated heavily from Northern Europe. A cross-sectional study looking at the prevalence of Dupuytren contracture in 5000 patients admitted to a New York City hospital for unrelated conditions showed a rate of 4.8%, with a male-to-female ratio of 3:1.

In Northern Europe prevalence of Dupuytren contracture is much higher, ranging from 4% to 39%.  Dupuytren disease amongst the British population is found to be 34.4 per 100,000 for men aged 40-84 years, and in Norwegian populations, 30% of males older than age 60 years are said to be affected.   In men older than age 60 years, a 28% prevalence was reported in Australia, and a 19% prevalence was reported in Spain.  The basis of most of these countries occurrence of Dupuytren contracture is early Northern European migration. 

Scotland claims the highest frequency of Dupuytren contracture by which in examination of 200 patients,  39% of men and 21% of women older than age 60 years demonstrated one or more hands affected with contracture.   By contrast, in Japan, 19.7% of men and 9% of women older than age 60 years displayed hand contracture.  Only sporadic cases of Dupuytren contracture are found in the African and Asian population.   TRH

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