Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee is one of the most common and functionally impairing disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
There are several risk factors for osteoarthritis of the knee, while Body Mass Index (a high BMI precedes knee OA) is a high risk factor for both males and females, occupation is another one that has been linked to this problem. Studies have varied in their design, in both definition of OA and exposure to workload. The prevalence of knee OA is rising and the search for interventions to mitigate risk is intensifying.
Researcher Dr Benny Antony says, "Several studies have suggested that risk for osteoarthritis is increased by work, which entails prolonged bending of the knees. Recent research has shown that there is moderate evidence for a relationship between kneeling and heavy lifting and knee OA. The majority of published studies have dealt either with hip or knee OA, and relatively few studies have included both in the same cohort, thus enabling comparison of the risk for hip and knee OA. Most studies have been cross-sectional, but recently, results from longitudinal studies have been published, strengthening the causality of occupation as a risk factor for knee and hip OA."
Factors that increase risk of osteoarthritis include...
Certain occupations: If your job includes tasks that place repetitive stress on a particular joint, that may predispose that joint toward eventually developing osteoarthritis.
Sedentary lifestyle: Cartilage depends on joint use for its nutrition.
Bone deformities: Some people are born with malformed joints or defective cartilage, which can increase the risk of osteoarthritis.
Joint injuries: Injuries, such as those that occur when playing sports or from an accident, may increase the risk of osteoarthritis.
Obesity: Carrying more body weight places more stress on your weight-bearing joints, such as your knees.
Other diseases: Having diabetes, under-active thyroid, gout or Paget's disease of bone can increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis.
Older age: The risk of osteoarthritis increases with age.
Sex: Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis, though it isn't clear why.
Times of India
© 2013 Bennett, Coleman & Company Limited