Dupuytren disease is a fibroproliferative hand condition. The role of exposure to vibration as a risk factor has been studied with contradictory results. Since field hockey is expected to be a strong source of hand-arm vibration, we hypothesised that long-term exposure to field hockey is associated with Dupuytren disease.
In this cross-sectional cohort study, the hands of 169 male field hockey players (IQR: 65–71 years) and 156 male controls (IQR: 59–71 years) were examined for signs of Dupuytren disease. Details about their age, lifestyle factors, medical history, employment history and leisure activities were gathered. Prior to the analyses, the groups were balanced in risk factors using propensity score matching. The association between field hockey and Dupuytren disease was determined using a subject-specific generalised linear mixed model with a binomial distribution and logit link function (matched pairs analysis).
Dupuytren disease was observed in 51.7% of the field hockey players, and in 13.8% of the controls. After propensity score matching, field hockey playing as dichotomous variable, was associated with Dupuytren disease (OR=9.42, 95% CI 3.01 to 29.53). A linear dose-response effect of field hockey (hours/week x years) within the field hockey players could not be demonstrated (OR=1.03, 95% CI 0.68 to 1.56).
We found that field hockey playing has a strong association with the presence of Dupuytren disease. Clinicians in sports medicine should be alert to this less common diagnosis in this sport.