Who is at risk for arthritis?

Certain factors are associated with a greater risk of arthritis. Some of these risk factors are modifiable while others are not.

Non-modifiable risk factors

    • Age: The risk of developing most types of arthritis increases with age.
    • Gender: Most types of arthritis are more common in women; 60% of the people with arthritis are women. Gout is more common in men.
    • Genetic: Specific genes are associated with a higher risk of certain types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and ankylosing spondylitis.

Modifiable risk factors

    • Overweight and Obesity: Excess weight can contribute to both the onset and progression of knee osteoarthritis.
    • Joint Injuries: Damage to a joint can contribute to the development of osteoarthritis in that joint.
    • Infection: Many microbial agents can infect joints and potentially cause the development of various forms of arthritis.

Occupation: Certain occupations involving repetitive knee bending and squatting are associated with osteoarthritis of the knee.