The authors compared the incidence of Dupuytren’s disease in men across 5 occupational classes in England and Wales over a 12-month period. The data used in analysis were compiled from a national survey of 500,000 people, representing 1% of the total population. 169 new cases of Dupuytren’s disease were diagnosed by general practitioners, giving an incidence rate of 34.3 per 100,000 men. Age-standardized incidence rates, as calculated for the separate occupational classes, showed no significant differences in incidence.
Previous reports of the association between Dupuytren’s disease and manual labor have failed to reach a consensus. Conclusions have varied depending on the characteristics of the populations surveyed and the type of work involved. Cases of Dupuytren’s disease in the present study were identified by a search of the ICD-9 code for Dupuytren’s disease (728.6) assigned by different general practitioners. The authors recommended cautious interpretation of their results, owing to the possibility that callosities in the hand and other contractures of the finger could have been mistakenly diagnosed. They also encouraged more refined epidemiological studies to address the work-relatedness issue.
J Hand Surg