Bethesda, Md—Although age is a risk factor for osteoarthritis (OA), the degenerative joint disease that affects more than 20 million Americans mainly over the age of 45, OA is not an inevitable part of the aging process. Obesity, joint injury, and genetics are all thought to contribute to the cartilage breakdown and other factors that lead to the development and progression of joint degeneration characteristic of the disease.
Friedrich MJ. Steps Toward Understanding, Alleviating Osteoarthritis Will Help Aging Population. JAMA. 1999;282(11):1023-1025. doi:10.1001/jama.282.11.1023