Objective: To clarify which are the underlying factors in the development of Dupuytren's disease (DD) in diabetic patients and to evaluate if the presence of DD can predict the development of diabetic complications.
Methods: A total of 207 type 1 diabetic patients [age (mean +/- SD): 29.9 +/- 9.5 years] was studied at baseline. A follow-up study was performed five years later in 166 patients. The presence of DD was examined and the patients were assessed in terms of the following diabetic complications: background and proliferative retinopathy, peripheral symmetrical polyneuropathy, and clinical nephropathy.
Results: The prevalence of DD was 4% at the baseline study. DD was significantly associated with the age of the patient and the duration of diabetes, but not with the age at the onset of diabetes, BMI or the control of diabetes. DD was associated with somatic peripheral symmetrical polyneuropathy (p < 0.01), a history of myocardial infarction (p < 0.01) and limited joint mobility (LJM) (p < 0.05), but all of these associations could be exclusively explained by the age of the diabetic patients and the duration of diabetes. DD developed in 17 new subjects (2% per year) during the five years of the study. The subjects' age and the duration of diabetes were associated with the development of DD. There was a predominance of the development of DD in women (p < 0.05), and in subjects with retinopathy (p < 0.05), nephropathy (p < 0.05), neuropathy (p < 0.05) or hypertension (p < 0.01), but these associations could also be exclusively explained by the time-related variables. The presence of DD at the baseline study did not predict the development of diabetic complications or hypertension when the confounding effects of age and the duration of diabetes were controlled by logistic regression analysis.
Conclusion: This study shows that the patient's age and the duration of diabetes are the most important factors predicting the development of DD in diabetic patients. The associations between DD and diabetic complications were exclusively explained by the age and the duration of diabetes. The presence of DD did not predict the development of diabetic complications.