Opinion: Are you at risk for arthritis?

(NC) Getting arthritis is not an inevitable fact of life. But according to the Arthritis Society, certain factors could put you at higher risk.

“It’s important to understand which factors you have control over so you can lower your risk of developing the disease,” explains Trish Barbato, president and CEO of the Arthritis Society.

Here are some factors both in and out of your control to consider:

Age: The risk of developing most types of arthritis increases with age.

Sex: Most types of arthritis are more common in women; nearly 60 per cent of all people with arthritis are women.

Genetics: Certain genes are linked to a high risk of certain types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.

Weight: Excess weight can contribute to both the onset and progression of knee and hip osteoarthritis.

Diet: What you eat plays an important role in maintaining a healthy weight. It’s also a risk factor for developing gout.

Physical inactivity: Lack of activity is linked to increased severity and progression of many types of arthritis.

Joint injuries: Prior damage to a joint can contribute to the development of osteoarthritis in that joint.

Smoking: Cigarette smoking Is linked to the progression and severity of rheumatoid arthritis.

Occupation: Certain jobs involving repetitive knee-bending and squatting are associated with osteoarthritis of the knee and hip.

Learn how you can help reduce your risk and find more information at arthritis.ca.

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