Is Genetics a Risk Factor for Osteoarthritis?

The multifactorial nature of osteoarthritis (OA) is well known. Medical findings show that several risk factors make one susceptible to osteoarthritis. Some of the primary cause or risk factors behind OA include things such as increasing age, obesity, and activity levels. New findings also point a finger at genetics as a possible influence.

Whether you have osteoarthritis or you know a family member who is struggling with this ailment, you would want to determine whether osteoarthritis is a genetic or not. Well, there is enough evidence to show that there is indeed some element of genetic influence from several sources. Research findings have established that the heritability of OA could be up to 50%.

The Genetic Connection

So you can inherit OA, doctors say. As mentioned above, studies show that inherited factors account for more than half the chances of developing OA. However, these findings do not point to any single gene. Rather, researchers have established that the occurrence of osteoarthritis is a combination of several genetic factors. These traits range from the production of collagen to the way some bones fit, which explains why some people in their 20s have OS, an ailment that is often associated with old age.

An individual’s genetic makeup can place him or her at risk of having osteoarthritis. If you fear that this condition runs in your family, you need not despair. First, you need to visit a doctor and seek a second opinion or a full diagnosis, especially if there is enough evidence which indicates that you might be at risk.

Genetics and Treatment Options

Scientists have uncovered several genetic alterations linked to OA. Genetic studies play a major role as far as finding new drugs or treatment options is concerned. Looking at the progress realized in this research, the journey to ending the fatigue and pain caused by osteoarthritis is at an advanced stage. And since the condition affects people differently, genetic studies on OA are likely to offer patients with superior drugs that are specific to the type of OA they are struggling with.

Managing Osteoarthritis

Whether your genes paint a dark future or not, you need to work on your health. Looking at some possible osteoarthritis causes, obesity is a significant risk factor. This is evidenced by the fact that most people complaining of OA have weight issues. In light of this fact, the best way to manage this condition is to ‘lighten the load.’

Part of managing OA requires that you keep active. This helps you reduce weight and improve muscle strength. In some cases, you need to consider getting some steroid shots and anti-inflammatory drugs, either in tablet form or as topical gels.