Is there a relationship between drinking alcoholic beverages and the chance of having Dupuytren’s? This has been debated for years. The answer? Yes, according to the report “Dupuytren’s contracture and alcohol” (full text: http://www.dupuytrenfoundation.org/DupPDFs/1986_Bradlow_1148.pdf). The authors reviewed 143 patients with and without Dupuytren’s, checked their self described drinking patterns as well as the blood tests which are abnormal in heavy drinkers, and concluded that, at least in men, regular heavy alcohol consumption, measured either by history or blood tests, was associated with a higher risk of Dupuytren’s contracture. Why? There are many possible biological reasons, including the chemical effects of alcohol (or its byproducts) and the effect of alcoholic liver disease on the metabolism. On the bright side, light or moderate alcohol consumption – meaning not enough to show liver damage – is apparently not a risk factor for the development of Dupuytren’s disease. Whew.