The etiology of Dupuytren's disease is still unknown in spite of significant recent advances in identifying the type of cell responsible for initiating the process. Associated factors such as alcoholism, smoking, work, diabetes, and epilepsy are discussed. The course of the disease in men as compared with women is also discussed. Recent evidence has shown that there may be genetic and immunologic factors involved. Superoxide free radicals and their effect on fibroblast proliferation may play a significant role in the disease process.