Peyronie’s Disease & Genetics
One question posed by a number of patients is whether Peyronie’s disease runs in the genes or not. Over the past 40 years a number of studies have been undertaken but none have definitively shown genetics as a cause for Peyronie’s disease.
However, there are a number of factors that support the theory that genetics play a part. Peyronie’s disease has a far higher occurrence in Caucasian men than in other ethnic groups. Like other diseases found in specific ethnicities for example Cystic Fibrosis, the higher prevalence suggests the presence of a founder mutation.
Peyronie’s disease is known a fibroproliferative disease. With Peyronie’s disease a fibrous plaque develops in the fibrous envelope that stretches the length of the penis. There is a strong correlation with other fibroproliferative diseases such as Dupuytren’s contracture, which is a deformity of the hand, where knots of tissue form under the skin, which develop into thick cords that pull one or more fingers into a bent position.
Over 20% of men with Dupuytren’s contracture also have been found to have Peyronie’s disease. And Dupuytren’s contracture is often found in families with a high prevalence of Peyronie’s disease. This overlap of symptoms suggests a common genetic predisposition.
Many men can remember a traumatic event; such a being injured during sex or being hit by a cricket ball that triggered off their Peyronie’s disease. However, very few men go through life, without at some stage being injured and experiencing severe pain in their private parts. But only a few develop Peyronie’s disease.
This suggest that some individuals are ready primed to develop the disease in response to a trauma, whereas others can experience a major trauma and not develop the condition. This too suggests there is a greater link to genetics.