About a quarter of US adults have arthritis. Some behaviors and characteristics, or risk factors, increase their chances of developing the disease and make it worse. You can control some of these risk factors, while others you can’t. To lower your chance of getting arthritis or of making it worse, you can change the factors you can control.
Risk Factors You Can Control
Obese people are more likely to develop arthritis than people who are not obese. People who are overweight also tend to have more severe and painful arthritis.
The link between arthritis and obesity is strong. If you are overweight, you are up to two times more likely to develop arthritis than someone of normal weight. The good news is that losing even a small amount of weight can improve symptoms. Good health habits, like exercise and eating well, can help prevent obesity and improve your overall health.
An untreated or improperly treated infection can cause arthritis. For example, Lyme disease can cause arthritis or other problems in some people. People with a past infection may also be at greater risk of developing arthritis.
Arthritis symptoms may be triggered by a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection in the joint. Some of these infections, like Lyme disease and hepatitis B, can last for a long time.
Smoking is a known cause of many health problems, including cancer, heart disease, and respiratory problems. Smoking also causes irritation and swelling in the fingers, wrists, and ankles, which can lead to arthritis.
When you smoke, you increase your chance of developing an inflammatory disease. Also, smoking increases your risk of developing a bacterial infection. If you have diabetes, smoking can make this disease much worse.
Risk Factors You Can’t Control
Arthritis is more common in people aged 65 and older.
Age is a major risk factor for developing arthritis. As people age, their immune system is less effective, which increases the chance of developing an infection. Medical conditions that affect older people more than younger people, like arthritis and diabetes, are more common.
Even if you take good care of yourself, you are likely to develop some kind of arthritis as you get older.
2) Genetics and Traits
If your parent, sibling, or child has RA, you are more likely to develop RA.
Some people are at higher risk of developing arthritis because they have a family history of the disease. If a parent, sibling, or child has RA, you are up to five times more likely to develop this disease. If a parent, a sibling, or a child has osteoarthritis, you are up to three times more likely to develop the disease.
It is not known how your genes are involved in arthritis. If you have a family history of arthritis, it is especially important to get regular checkups, to keep the disease from getting worse.
Understanding the risk factors of arthritis is important to preventing and managing the disease. Some of the risk factors are not in your control.
If you want to learn more about arthritis prevention, the Center for Arthritis & Osteoporosis can help. We are home to the best arthritis specialists in New Jersey that can give you a proper assessment. Get in touch with us today to learn more. At the Center for Arthritis and Osteoporosis, Dr. Adenwalla and her team adopt the finest treatment procedures and diagnostic modalities to manage disease states. We understand that living with Arthritis and autoimmune diseases can be an extremely stressful experience. We work to support our patients in their journey from pain to recovery with compassion and care. Contact us today to learn more and request an appointment online!