What other diseases are commonly associated with osteoarthritis?

Joan Haizlip, MSN
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Degenerative arthritis is the same as osteoarthritis. It is also called degenerative joint disease.

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

The diseases that are either very similar to or overlap with osteoarthritis are actually other forms of arthritis. These include gout, rheumatoid arthritis, pseudogout (chondrocalcinosis), Charcot's joints, sciatica and psoriatic arthritis. Depression has been associated with osteoarthritis, too. Researchers think one reason for this link with depression is because osteoarthritis limits a person's activities of daily living.

Osteoarthritis is considered a form of degenerative joint disease because it occurs when the cartilage that normally surrounds and protects the joints wears away. When the cartilage is worn away, bones rub against one another, causing pain and disability.

Several other diseases have symptoms similar to osteoarthritis (OA). They include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease that can cause pain in the joints. RA occurs when the immune system attacks the joints and muscles causing joint pain and stiffness.
  • Lupus, an autoimmune disease like RA, that causes inflammation in the joints, as well as in the tendons, skin and other connective tissues.
  • Gout, which occurs when uric acid crystals build up in the joints, and causes joint inflammation, pain and tenderness.
  • Bursitis, which occurs when the bursa (a fluid-filled sac) in the joints is irritated, can also cause pain.
  • Tendinitis, which occurs in the tendons from overuse or strenuous exercise, can cause pain, swelling and decreased motion in the affected joints. 

A doctor can often distinguish between OA and other conditions using a physical exam and x-rays.

The diseases that are commonly associated with osteoarthritis are other forms of arthritis. These include gout, rheumatoid arthritis, pseudogout (chondrocalcinosis), Charcot's joints, sciatica and psoriatic arthritis. Depression, too, can be associated with osteoarthritis.

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Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

People with osteoarthritis (OA) often also have diabetes or heart disease. People with type 2 diabetes are likely to also have OA. In fact, 52 percent of adults with diabetes also have OA. Among all adults, the prevalence of OA is only about 27 percent, which means that people with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to have OA.

It's hard to say which comes first, the diabetes or the OA, because both diseases are related to physical inactivity and being overweight or obese. Ditto for heart disease: 57 percent of adults with heart disease also have osteoarthritis. Of these people, 25 percent aren't physically active.

Degenerative joint disease (DJD) is another way of saying osteoarthritis (OA), which is a joint problem that causes pain, swelling and stiffness from a breakdown of the joint cartilage. Both commonly affect joints such as the knee. Watch this video to learn more about the knee and arthritis.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.