National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Division of Adult and Community Health
Health Care and Aging Studies Branch
4770 Buford Highway NE
Atlanta, GA 30341-3724
Certain factors have been shown to be 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 all 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), systemic lupus erythematous (SLE), and
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
- Occupation: Certain occupations involving
repetitive knee bending and squatting are associated with osteoarthritis of the knee.
Page last reviewed: June 8, 2008
Page last modified: May 24, 2007
Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion