beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

To find a doctor, call 800-667-5356 or click below:

Find a Doctor

Request an Appointment

left banner
right banner
Smaller Larger

Risk Factors for Osteoarthritis

En Español (Spanish Version)

Main Page | Risk Factors | Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatment | Screening | Reducing Your Risk | Talking to Your Doctor | Living With Osteoarthritis | Resource Guide

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 your doctor 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 or obese—risk of osteoporosis increases with increasing body weight
  • 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.
  • 9/3/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Zhou ZY, Liu YK, et al. Body mass index and knee osteoarthritis risk: A dose-response meta-analysis. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Jul [Epub ahead of print].

Search Your Health