Arthritis is a disease that affects a large number of the population. It is a chronic health condition characterized by pain and stiffness to the joints.
There are various types of arthritis with several risk factors. Some of these risk factors can’t be avoided but others can be kept under control. We will focus on the main risk factor for two of the most common types of arthritis – rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA).
Osteoarthritis Risk Factors
Sometimes, osteoarthritis can be a common disease for some families. If more of your relatives suffer from the disease, you will most likely develop it too.
Although OA affects both men and women, the National Institutes of Health states that men under the age of 45 have a higher risk of developing OA. After the age of 45, women are more likely to develop the disease
OA appears due to the wearing and tearing of the joints. This thing usually happens as people age. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that one third of the adults over 65 suffer from OA.
Having extra pounds has a negative effect on your body because it puts more stress and strain on the joints. The extra pressure increases the risk of OA. Overweight people usually develop osteoarthritis in the knees, hips and spine. Read more about arthritis and weight loss.
Occupations that constantly require a lot of work can put a lot of stress on joints. This stress can increase the risk of osteoarthritis. Jobs that include a lot of lifting, climbing stairs, walking and squatting are the most dangerous ones.
If you have an injured joint you have higher chances of developing OA in that joint.
If you constantly sit or stand in an improper position you can strain your joint, increasing this way the risk of osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk Factors
The Mayo Clinic, USA, states that RA is two to three times more common in women than men. It is believed that the female hormone estrogen is the reason why women are more likely to develop RA.
Rheumatoid arthritis can develop at any point in your life, but the ones that are more likely to be affected by it are people with ages between 40 and 60 years.
Just like osteoarthritis, people have a higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis if one or more family members have the disease.
People who smoke regularly can develop rheumatoid arthritis faster. Furthermore, smoking also makes the outlook for the disease worse.
According to the researchers from Lund University, Sweden, men who have low levels of testosterone have a higher predisposition for rheumatoid arthritis.
These are the most common risk factors for the most common types of arthritis, but there are other factors that can also influence the disease and different types of arthritis may have different risk factors.