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Who is at risk for hip osteoarthritis?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Older people are not the only people affected by hip osteoarthritis. It can develop in young, middle-aged and elderly people. In young people, it is usually caused by an immune system problem called juvenile arthritis. Arthritis can be treated successfully, however, and people with arthritis can lead a long, full life.

Heredity is a factor in developing hip osteoarthritis. However, there are factors that can increase the likelihood of hip osteoarthritis. Obesity, lifting heavy loads and participation in sports/activities that involve a great deal of hip rotation can also increase the development of hip osteoarthritis.

This answer provided for NATA by Gary E. Morin, PhD, ATC, LAT.

Dr. Scott D. Martin, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon

Hip osteoarthritis is more common among the elderly and those who have had hip injuries, although some conditions, such as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) can contribute to hip arthritis at an earlier age. Obesity also places extra stress on the hips; in the Nurses' Health Study, an ongoing study of thousands of women, those who were in the heaviest group at age 18 had five times more risk of developing severe hip osteoarthritis than those who were in the lightest group. Recreational physical activities, including running, have not been shown to raise the risk of hip osteoarthritis.

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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.