Risk Factors for Arthritis
At present, arthritis affects at least one in five people in the western world; as the population of most countries ages, the proportion of sufferers is expected to rise. More than two thirds of people will suffer from some form of arthritis by the age of sixty five. But who is most at risk?
The word 'arthritis' simply means 'joint swelling', and arthritis symptoms can occur because of a number of different diseases, each with different risk factors. The most common risk factor is age. As with other diseases, the longer a person lives, the more chance there is of something going wrong; and in the cases of arthritis, the risk increases still further as damage is caused to joints by daily wear and tear.
Osteoarthritis is rare before the age of forty five, though it does occasionally occur in younger people, usually as a result of injury. The risk of osteoarthritis is initially higher in women - especially after menopause - but increases for men as they get older.
White and Asian people are at a higher risk than black and Hispanic people for reasons which are thought to be to do with average physical build. People who have large, solid bones are at a lower risk of severe osteoarthritis than fine-boned people. People with thyroid problems are at high risk of developing osteoarthritis in later life. Lifestyle factors like frequent jogging on tarmac can also represent a risk.
Syn-flex Liquid Glucosamine
- Safe and Inexpensive
- No Side Effects
- 1500 mg Glucosamine per Dose
- Click Here For More Details
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease of the immune system and can occur at any stage in life, often affecting people in their prime. The risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis is considerably higher for women, possibly because high levels of estrogen are a risk factor. Rheumatoid arthritis often seems to run in families, so people with a family history of the disease can consider themselves to be at a higher risk, though there is no certainty that it will be passed on. Environmental factors such as exposure to pollutants and allergens are also thought to represent a risk factor. Rheumatoid arthritis can be a complicating factor for people who have undergone organ transplants, as the presence of foreign tissue in the body puts them at a higher risk of suffering from auto-immune reactions.
Less common arthritis related conditions vary considerably in their risk factors. Lupus is most common in women of Afro-Caribbean origin, whereas men are at a higher risk of developing gout. Being overweight is a risk factor for most forms of arthritis, and it also increases the risk of becoming severely disabled as a result. The risk of developing arthritis can be decreased by eating a healthy diet high in fresh fruit and vegetables and low in red meat and salt. Regular gentle exercise reduces the risk of arthritis becoming severe.