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J Clin Epidemiol. 2002 Jan;55(1):5-10.

Increased total mortality and cancer mortality in men with Dupuytren's disease: a 15-year follow-up study.

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The Health Care Centre, Fludabakka 6, 540, Blonduos, Iceland.


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the mortality rate and causes of death of individuals with Dupuytren's disease. In 1981/82, as part of The Reykjavík Study, a general health survey, 1297 males were examined for clinical signs of Dupuytren's disease. Based on the clinical evaluation the participants were classified into three groups: (1) those with no signs of Dupuytren's disease were referred to as the reference cohort; (2) those with palpable nodules in the palmar fascia were classified as having stage 1; and (3) those who had contracted fingers or had been operated on due to contractures were classified as having stage 2 of Dupuytren's disease. In 1997, after a 15- year follow-up period, the mortality rate and causes of death were investigated in relation to the clinical findings from 1981/82. Information about causes of death were obtained from the National Icelandic Death Registry and the Icelandic Cancer Registry. During the follow-up period, 21.5% (225/1048) of the reference cohort were deceased compared to 29.9% (55/184) of those with stage 1 and 47.7% (31/65) of those with stage 2 of Dupuytren's disease. When adjusted for age, smoking habits and other possible confounders, individuals with stage 2 of the disease showed increased total mortality [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.6; 95% CI 1.1-2.4]. Cancer deaths were increased (HR = 1.9; CI 1.0-3.6). In contrast, participants with stage 1 of Dupuytren's disease did not show increased mortality. A moderate but non-significant increase in cancer incidence was observed among individuals with stage 2 of Dupuytren's disease (HR = 1.5; 95% CI 0.9-2.4, P = 0.15). The study showed increased total mortality of individuals with Dupuytren's disease stage 2, where 42% of the excess in mortality could be attributed to cancer deaths.

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