Between 1988 and 1990, 500 claimants were assessed and considered to have vibration white finger (VWF). Of these, 137 were under 45 years of age and none had Dupuytren's contracture of the remaining 363, 311 were aged 50-85 years, and of these 62 (19.9 per cent) had Dupuytren's contracture. Statistically, this prevalence was significantly higher than that in a control group of 150 men of similar age distribution (10.7 per cent). As far as can be ascertained, this is the first study to indicate that there may be a causal relationship between VWF and Dupuytren's contracture, and the possible theoretical reasons for this are discussed. It is suggested that further studies are required to confirm or refute the findings.