What are the risk factors for Osteoarthritis?

By  , Expert Content
Jan 21, 2013

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a joint disease which can affect anyone but certain factors increase your risk of developing the disease. Some of the risk factors of osteoarthritis include:


[Read: How to Diagnose for Osteoarthritis]


  • Age: Osteoarthritis typically affects older adults (people over 50 years of age). It is rare in people under 40 years of age. In younger people osteoarthritis, often develops as a complication of an injury or another joint condition.
  • Sex: It occurs more commonly in women than in men, though it isn't clear why.
  • Bone deformities: The risk of OA is higher in people with malformed joints or defective cartilage.
  • Joint injuries: Injury or damage to the joint or cartilage (like while playing sports or from an accident) increases the risk of OA.
  • Obesity: Being overweight/obese increases the risk of OA as it increases the stress and strain on your weight-bearing joints, such as your knees.
  • Certain occupations: If particular joint/joints are stressed or strained repeatedly during your work it increases the risk of OA in that joint.
  • Other diseases: Having other diseases which affect the joint such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, Paget's disease of bone or septic arthritis also increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis.


[Read: How to Prevent Osteoarthritis]


There is no definite way to prevent osteoarthritis but taking care of your joints can help to decrease your risk of developing OA. Awareness of your risk factors for OA can help you to control them and make lifestyle changes. In the treatment of osteoarthritis control of modifiable risk factors (such as weight, injuries) and preventive measures such as weight loss, exercises is as important as treatment of OA.


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