Dupuytren's disease has been the subject of numerous epidemiological surveys attempting to expand our knowledge on its origin and spread. In Flanders, although numerous studies on surgical outcome have been reported, information on prevalence of Dupuytren's disease is lacking. Therefore, Flanders' population in a non-hospital environment was studied by a clinical evaluation performed by a single hand specialist. Five different market places spread geographically in the 5 Flemish provinces of Belgium were visited to examine the hands of randomly chosen individuals over 50 years old visiting the market. In all, 500 people were examined; Dupuytren's disease was found to be present in 32% of the population. Nodules without finger contractures (stage 1) were seen in 24% of the population, in comparable proportions in males (28%) and females (20%). However, finger contractures (stage 2) were seen in 8%, significantly more often in males (11%) than in females (4%). The prevalence of stage 1 is somewhat lower in individuals over 80 years old. In men, the incidence of stage 2 was found to increase with age. These findings were compared with literature data on the prevalence of Dupuytren's disease in other countries and populations. It appears that, similar to northern Europe, Dupuytren's disease is also a common disease in Flanders.