Select Category

Why do more women get Arthritis?

Go Back

Posted on by

Rheumatoid Arthritis for Women

It’s a fact that more women are three times more likely to be affected by rheumatoid arthritis (RA) than men. While RA is not age-related, osteoarthritis is and the percentage of women with the condition is more than 60%. And the pattern too varies – men are more prone to experience arthritis in their hips, while women tend to have it in the knees or hands.

Osteoarthritis is today the most common form of arthritis, and among the many factors that contribute to the risk are biology, genes, hormones and obesity.

Biology plays a role

Women’s bodies are designed to give birth, which means the tendons in their lower body are more flexible than that of a man. As a result, their joints probably move around a little more. When the joints have less stability, they’re more prone to injury. These injuries can lead to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis later in life. Also, “as women’s hips are wider than their knees, their knee joints are not aligned as straight as men’s”, says Dr. Yusuf Yazici MD, a rheumatologist at New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York, “this leads to a higher rate of knee injuries, and injuries can lead to osteoarthritis later in life.” Experts have found that women who play soccer, for instance, have at least three to four times the number of knee injuries as men who play soccer.

It’s in the genes

Osteoarthritis also seems to run in families, and there appears in particular to be a genetic link among women. Women whose mothers developed osteoarthritis will probably find that they will develop it in the same joints at around the same age too. Researchers have found that hand and knee osteoarthritis have specific genetic links.

Hormones and inflammation

Female hormones have an effect on the cartilage that sits between the bones of the joints and cushions the bones to prevent pain and allow the joints to move about smoothly. In laboratory studies of cells that form cartilage, experts have found that the female hormone estrogen protects the cartilage from inflammation. But after menopause, when women’s estrogen levels go down, they lose that protection and may have a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis even if they are on hormone-replacement therapy (HRT).

Obesity & Lifestyle

Extra weight puts more pressure on joints and can cause the cartilage between joints to wear away faster. With every extra pound you gain, you add three pounds of pressure to your knees and six pounds of pressure to your hips, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Also, women who have gone through menopause tend to have more belly fat, which puts more pressure on the lower joints.

Certain lifestyle factors like high-heeled shoes alter the normal dynamics of the ankle, leading to increased pressure on the knee during walking. The phenomena of compensation required to maintain the stability of the knee could promote knee osteoarthritis. Awareness of risk factors, a healthy lifestyle and consulting a doctor if the pain persists can help prevent the pain.

#Osteoarthritis #JointPain #RheumatoidArthritis #Women

About Arthritis Center

This web site is run by an Arthritis Specialist based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. On this site you will find news about the latest in arthritis, information about research results in the field, tips and information and diet and exercise, and much more.

More

Archives


Latest Blog

Using your genes to predict if you will respond to Rheumatoid arthritis therapy. (not available in Dubai, UAE at this time)

The ORBIT data “showed that patients who have seropositive rheumatoid arthritis are just as likely to respond to rituximab therapy when compared ...

Read More

Your nose can repair your knee arthritis? Not yet in Dubai!

Doctors might one day be able to harvest cells from patients’ noses to produce cartilage that can be transplanted into damaged knee joints, a sma...

Read More

Green tea to the rescue!

Green tea has always been hailed for its anti-inflammatory properties. But researchers at Washington State University (WSU) in Spokane have now ide...

Read More

This web site is run by an Arthritis Specialist based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. On this site you will find news about the latest in arthritis, information about research results in the field, tips and information and diet and exercise, and much more.

More

Recent Comments