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A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.

It is possible to develop osteoarthritis with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing osteoarthritis. If you have a number of risk factors, ask yourdoctor what you can do to reduce your risk.

Medical Condition

You have an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis if you have or have had:

  • Past injury to a joint
  • Previous surgery to the joint
  • History of infection in a joint
  • Inherited abnormalities of the joint
  • Weakness of muscles around a joint
  • Acromegaly (a pituitary disorder)
  • Paget’s disease of bone
Age

Increasing age puts you at increased risk for osteoarthritis.

Gender

Osteoarthritis is more common in women than in men.

Genetic Factors

Osteoarthritis tends to run in families.

Other

You are more likely to develop osteoarthritis if you:

  • Are overweight
  • Work at a job or participate intensely in an athletic pursuit that requires a lot of lifting, squatting,or repetitive joint use
References:

Osteoarthritis. Arthritis Foundation website. Available at: http://www.arthritis.org/conditions-treatments/disease-center/osteoarthritis. Accessed July 23, 2013.

Osteoarthritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Osteoarthritis/default.asp. Updated July 2010. Accessed July 23, 2013.

Sinusas, K. Osteoarthritis: Diagnosis and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2012;85(1):49-56.

Last reviewed June 2013 by Michael Woods, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


 
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