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What increases my risk for osteoarthritis?

If you fit in any of the categories below, you may have an increased risk for osteoarthritis:

  • Older than 40: Often people 40 and under do not experience the symptoms of the disorder although they may show increased size of their joints in x-rays.
  • Female: For reasons unknown, more women than men are affected by osteoarthritis between the ages of 40 and 70 (after 70 the sexes are affected equally).
  • Underlying disease or injury: Those who suffer from joint injuries, bone and joint diseases, or those born with malformed joints and cartilage defects are more at risk. If you have a history of osteoarthritis in your family you will be more likely to be affected by it.
  • Overweight: Your weight also increases your risk because the more you weigh the more stress you place on joints.
  • Muscle weakness: When thigh muscles and muscles around the knee are weak, it increases the risk of knee osteoarthritis.
  • Physical labor: Occupations that include repetitive motions that place stress on a joint may be weakening the joint. 

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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.