• 14 SEP 17
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    Who is more at risk of getting arthritis?

    Who is more at risk of getting arthritis?

    Arthritis is such a disorder which can strike anybody at any age prior to age, sex, genes or other lifestyle factors. Arthritis is an inflammatory disease of joints. Arthritis is said to be the world’s top cause of disability. Arthritis prevalence is increasing in the world at very fast rate. In a study, it has been found that more than 50 million adults are suffering from arthritis and almost 3,00,000 children and adolescents are entrapped in arthritis. It is expected that 78 million people will be arthritic by 2040. This ailment is not limited only to old age people but it can happen in children and young age people. There are over 100 types of arthritis.

    The most common types of arthritis are:

    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Gout


    There are some risk factors which help us to find out who is at more risk of getting arthritis. These risk factors are categorized into two categories:

    • Non-modifiable risk factors
    • Modifiable risk factors


    Non-modifiable risk factors: These risk factors are those which cannot be modified or prevented. These risk factors include:

    1. Genes: There are some specific genes which are associated with elevated risk of some specific types of arthritis such as variations in human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes, increase the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.People having such specific genes are supposed to be more at a risk of developing arthritis rather than the people not having this type of genes.
    2. Gender: Arthritis is not specific to one gender. Both male and female are at a risk of developing arthritis. But the figures show that women are at more risk of developing arthritis than men. About 64% women are affected by arthritis in the world. Women feel and express more pain than men. This is due to the difference in hormones and nervous system in both men and women. Among all other forms of arthritis, only gout and Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) are more common in men as compared to women.
    3. Age: Although, arthritis can occur at any age adults over 65 years of age are at more risk of developing arthritis. It is more common in older people. Moreover, the risk of developing arthritis increases with age.
    4. Hormones: Changes in hormones increases the risk of developing some or other form of arthritis. In women with the increase in estrogen and progesterone level increases the risk of developing arthritis. There is an increased risk of developing Rheumatoid arthritis and Osteoarthritis in women due to an imbalance of hormonal levels.
    5. Race and ethnicity: Differences in health characteristics of different races and ethnicity are also associated with the risk of developing arthritis. It is found that Asians and Hispanics are at lower risk than that of Caucasians.
    6. Heredity: Family history of arthritis increases the risk of developing arthritis.


    Modifiable risk factors: These are those factors which can be changed by an individual. These include:

    1. Weight and obesity: The one having excess weight is at more risk of getting arthritis, especially knee arthritis. Excess body weight puts extra pressure on the knees and thus affects the physical movements causing chronic pain and inflammation. The risk of progression of severity of arthritis is more in obese people. The person having more weight is likely to develop osteoarthritis as excess weight puts stress on joints which result in wear down and damages the joint.
    2. Infection: The person who is suffering from an infection in a joint is more likely to develop infectious arthritis. Infectious arthritis is called as septic arthritis. This occurs when any bacterial, viral or fungal infection spreads to the synovial fluid. The person may get infected with this infection during surgery or through open wounds also. People having weaker immunity are more prone to this infectious arthritis.
    3. Post Traumatic Injuries: The people who had a twisted ankle or a sprained knee in the past are at more risk of developing post-traumatic arthritis in future. The persons who had any knee injury in the past are at greater risk of developing knee osteoarthritis in the future or more likely to have chronic pain in that joint.
    4. Smoking: The person who is in a habit of smoking are at greater risk of developing arthritis than the non-smokers. Cigarette smoking plays a key role in the progression of severity of arthritis as well.
    5. Occupation: The people who are engaged in occupations where frequently repetitive joint activities are carried out are at greater risk of developing arthritis. Knee bending and squatting come under these types of activities. Sports such as football, basket ball, rugby are also associated with the risk of arthritis.
    6. Dietary intake: Diet of person also plays a key role in developing arthritis. The individual who takes more concentrations of sodium in his diet are at a risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis and those who take high concentrations of purines are at a great risk of developing osteoarthritis.


    Thus, there are various factors upon which it depends whether an individual will get arthritis or not. One or more factor in individual can increases the risk of getting arthritis. Some of these factors are manageable and some are not. We can reduce the risk of developing arthritis by making some modifications in lifestyle. Most of the factors are manageable. Along with medications, self-management is must to prevent the symptoms of arthritis from getting worse. The intrusiveness of arthritis limits the life and makes us dependable of medicines and others. The cruel part is that individual has to quit his most loveable activities and favorite food also. We should not neglect the disease otherwise it can cause severe disability or can lead to death as well. To reduce the risk, there are a number of techniques available. We just need the patience to cope up with this disease. Though arthritis is not curable it can be prevented for sure. Determination and motivation are the keys to reduce the risk of getting arthritis and to improve the quality of life.

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