Cytokines and osteoarthritis

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Several factors lead to the development of OA including excess weight, injury or overuse and genes, among others. Various genetic traits can make a person more likely to develop OA. One possibility is a rare defect in the body’s production of collagen, the protein that makes up cartilage. This abnormality can cause osteoarthritis to occur as early as age 20.

Other inherited traits may result in slight defects in the way the bones fit together so that cartilage wears away faster than usual. Researchers have found that a gene called FAAH, previously linked to increased pain sensitivity, is higher in people with knee OA than in people who don’t have the disease. Being overweight puts additional pressure on hips and knees. Many years of carrying extra pounds can cause the cartilage that cushions joints to break down faster.

Research has shown there is a link between being overweight and having an increased risk of osteoarthritis in the hands. Some athletes, for example, repeatedly damage joints, tendons and ligaments, which can speed cartilage breakdown. Certain careers that require standing for long periods of time, repetitive bending, heavy lifting or other movements can also make cartilage wear away more quickly. An imbalance or weakness of the muscles supporting a joint can also lead to altered movement and eventual cartilage breakdown in joints.

Several other factors may contribute to osteoarthritis. 526 0 0 0 1. 51 0 0 0 2. 515 0 0 0 3. 517 0 0 0 4.