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Heavy manual work, exposure to vibration and Dupuytren's disease? Results of a surveillance program for musculoskeletal disorders
  1. Alexis Descatha1,2,3,
  2. Julie Bodin4,
  3. Catherine Ha5,
  4. Pierre Goubault4,
  5. Marine Lebreton4,
  6. Jean François Chastang2,
  7. Ellen Imbernon5,
  8. Annette Leclerc1,2,
  9. Marcel Goldberg1,2,5,
  10. Yves Roquelaure4
  1. 1Université de Versailles St-Quentin, UMRS 1018, Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, Population-Based Epidemiological Cohorts Research Platform, Villejuif, France
  2. 2Inserm U1018, Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, Epidemiology of Occupational and Social Determinants of Health, Villejuif, France
  3. 3AP-HP, Poincaré University Hospital, Occupational Health Unit, Garches, France
  4. 4LUNAN University, Laboratory of Ergonomics and Epidemiology in Occupational Health, University of Angers, Angers, France
  5. 5Département Santé Travail, Institut de Veille Sanitaire (DST-InVS), Saint-Maurice, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alexis Descatha, Inserm U1018, UVSQ, Unité de Pathologie Professionnelle CHU Poincaré, 104 bd Poincaré, 92380 Garches, France; alexis.descatha{at}


Introduction This study aimed to determine the prevalence of Dupuytren's disease in men and its relationship with work exposure, particularly heavy manual work with and without significant use of vibrating tools, using data from a surveillance program for musculoskeletal disorders.

Method This cross-sectional study was conducted in France between 2002 and 2005. Dupuytren's disease was diagnosed clinically by one of 83 occupational physicians. Exposure in relation to work status and occupational risk factors was assessed with a self-administered questionnaire, and categorised according to vibration exposure (defined as use of vibrating tools for ≥2 h/day), heavy manual work without vibration exposure (defined as use of hand tools for ≥2 h/day (use of vibrating tools for ≥2 h/day excluded) and Borg scale ≥15/20) and no such exposure. Bivariate and multivariate associations using logistic models were recorded in men and in those with >10 years in the same job.

Results Of 2161 men, 1.3% (n=27) had Dupuytren's disease (mean age 47.1±6.7 years). Heavy manual work without vibration exposure was significantly associated with the condition (adjusted OR (aOR) 3.9; 95% CI 1.3 to 11.5) adjusted on age and diabetes), as was use of vibrating tools (aOR 5.1; 2.1 to 12.2). These associations remained significant among subjects with >10 years in the same job, with increases in aOR of 6.1 (1.5 to 25.0) and 10.7 (3.4 to 34.6), respectively.

Conclusion Despite the limited number of cases, occupational exposure, including both vibration exposure and heavy manual work without significant vibration exposure, was associated with Dupuytren's disease.

  • Dupuytren contracture
  • observational study
  • occupational factor
  • manual work
  • vibration exposure
  • epidemiology
  • occupational health practice
  • musculoskeletal
  • rehabilitation
  • physical work, statistics
  • back disorders
  • repetitive strain injury
  • cancer
  • retrospective exposure assessment
  • asbestos

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  • Funding This study was supported by the French Institute for Public Health Surveillance, Saint-Maurice, France (grant 9/25/2002-5 ‘Réseau expérimental de surveillance des troubles musculo-squelettiques’) and the French National Research Agency (ANR-grant SEST-06-36).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the French Commission on Individual Freedom and Data Storage (CNIL).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.