What are environmental causes of osteoarthritis?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
When doctors talk about environmental causes of a disease, they mean any causes that aren't genetic. Osteoarthritis (OA) has a lot of possible environmental causes, including joint injury, being overweight or obese, being physically inactive and having weak leg muscles. Of course, a person's OA may have more than one environmental cause.
Environmental causes of osteoarthritis include any factor that might have the potential to damage a joint. These include:
  • occupations that require repeated motions
  • physical activity
  • strength of the quadriceps muscle(s)
  • traumatic injury to the joint
  • obesity
  • diet
  • sex hormones
  • bone density
Environmental causes are different from genetic causes, which means your family history.
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