Could my Dupuytren contracture be related to drinking alcohol?

History of alcoholism could predispose to Dupuytren’s disease

Studies that observe the occurrence of Dupuytren contracture in alcoholics and those with non-alcoholic related liver disease provides mixed results.  While it appears that more studies support the opinion there is an association between the use of alcohol and Dupuytren’s disease, these are cast into suspicion by those studies that find no or weak correlation between the two.

While some of the studies reviewed also considered the presence of liver cirrhosis as a primary or contributing factor for the development of Dupuytren’s contracture, rather than specifically heavy and prolonged alcohol use, even fewer considered the contributory influence of the common habit amongst heavy drinkers of cigarette smoking as another possible contributory cause for this problem.

Most studies determine positive conclusions about alcohol abuse and alcoholism for Dupuytren contracture.   Those that mention cigarette smoking and liver disease (cirrhosis) as additional risk factors will suggest that the concomitant presence of these factors causes greater risk of developing Dupuytrens.  Even so, those contributing factors (heavy alcohol consumption or alcoholism, cigarette smoking, liver disease) are still not as predictive for Dupuytrens as the presence of a positive family history, especially for male individuals over the age of 50 years whose work exposure to vibration is great.

While it is not possible to alter someone’s genetic predisposition or age, exposure to cigarette smoke and alcohol can be reduced or eliminated with deliberate effort.  For those who know of a positive family history for Dupuytren contracture and are over age 50, eliminating cigarette smoking and alcohol use that are controllable would be a wise preemptive measure.

If you have Dupuytren contracture and you are aware of the potential risks of surgery as only a temporary measure, consider Alternative Medicine as a Dupuytren contracture treatment option.  The Dupuytren Contracture Institute has researched and developed this approach to reverse hand contractures since 2002, with considerable treatment success. To learn more, click Dupuytren treatment success.



Dupuytren’s Contracture and Cirrhosis: Chronic Liver Disease

Cirrhosis and liver disease as a cause of Dupuytren contracture

The predisposition and causation of Dupuytren contracture as a result of cirrhosis of the liver is not clear; more clearly established correlations exist:

  • People of Northern European (UK) and Scandinavian descent
  • Men rather than women; men are 10 times more likely to develop Dupuytren contracture between the ages of 40 and 60 years, after which the incidence rate increases for women later in life to become equal by 80-85 years
  • Workers who sustain constant micro-traumatic stress to the tendons of the hands (carpenters, bricklayers, rock climbers, jackhammer operators, etc.)
  • People over the age of 40; age as a factor increases as age increases
  • People with a family history (grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, cousins)

Currently, unproven but interesting causes of Dupuytren’s hand contracture include diabetes, alcoholism, epilepsy therapy with phenythoin and liver disease.

A higher rate of Dupuytren contracture occurs in those with cirrhosis and related liver disease caused by alcohol abuse, as compared with those with cirrhosis and liver disease not associated with alcohol consumption.  It is important to note it is not alcohol consumption, per se, that appears to be a contributory factor for Dupuytren contracture but the abuse of alcohol intake, especially over an extended time.  Further, to keep contributory factors in perspective and rightfully appreciated, it is important to note that age and genetic predisposition to Dupuytren’s disease, as revealed by family history, are of greater contributory importance than alcohol abuse and resultant liver cirrhosis.

Dupuytren contracture and cirrhosis, liver disease and alcoholism

Perusal of recent studies that investigate the correlation of Dupuytren contracture and cirrhosis, liver disease and alcoholism reveals variable results and inconsistent conclusions.   The general trend of findings points toward the higher prevalence of Dupuytren contracture in chronic alcoholics and absence of correlation between Dupuytren contracture and chronic liver disease.  Alcoholics tend to have a higher rate of Dupuytren’s disease, and this is thought to primarily due liver disease caused by alcohol abuse.  Age, male incidence and genetic factors are of greater causation and predisposing factors than cirrhosis and liver disease.

If you male, and over 50 years of age, with a history of Dupuytren contracture in your family and heavy alcohol consumption, it would be wise to do all you can to reduce your chance of cirrhosis and liver disease.  You cannot do much about your gender, age and family genetics, but you can eliminate liver disease risk factors that might favor development of Dupuytren contracture.

Once Dupuytren contracture is present and someone learns that there is no known medical treatment available other than risky surgery, consider using Alternative Medicine as a Dupuytren contracture treatment option.  This is an option that the Dupuytren Contracture Institute has researched and developed since 2002, with considerable treatment success. To learn more, click Dupuytren treatment success.