Is Dupuytren’s disease really a “disease of the Vikings”?

Michael Ng, Daniel John Lawson, Bruce Winney, Dominic Furniss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
129 Downloads (Pure)


It has been suggested that Dupuytren’s Disease has an origin in Norse countries. We harnessed data from a genome-wide association study of Dupuytren’s Disease and the People of the British Isles study to determine evidence for a Norse origin of Dupuytren’s Disease. We computed Wright’s Fixation Index between Orkney (Norse ancestry), Wales (ancient British) and South East England (Anglo-Saxons); compared mean Wright’s Fixation Index in cases versus controls; used permutation to determine any excess of Norse inheritance in disease associated variants; constructed a genetic risk score for Dupuytren’s Disease and applied this to the People of the British Isles dataset to look for systematic differences between counties with known high and low levels of Norse ancestry. Finally, chromosome painting was used to see whether Dupuytren’s Disease associated single nucleotide polymorphisms are geographically structured. In all analyses, no evidence was found for an excess of Norse ancestry in Dupuytren’s Disease. We conclude that there is no genetic evidence for a “Viking origin of Dupuytren’s Disease”.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery (European Volume)
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2019


  • Dupuytren's disease
  • Viking
  • genetics


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