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Your genes play a part in the development of OA and perceived joint pain

Photo of an elderly man and woman with there arms around two female children. They are standing on a beach looking at a harbour in the background.

Previous studies from Iceland have shown how osteoarthritis is often inherited and can be traced back several generations. A gene (genetic predisposition) is a segment of DNA containing hereditary information and is inherited from our biological parents.

A new international study published in the high-ranking scientific journal Cell has discovered that a large number of genes are associated with osteoarthritis.

Gene-sets were analyzed from 826,690 people from Europe and East Asia, of which 155,517 people had osteoarthritis. It is the largest study of its kind in the world to date. The study identified, amongst other things, 52 completely new genes that increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis and distinguished 11 different types of risk variants for osteoarthritis. They were mainly divided into joint types (for example, hip, hand, and spine).

Furthermore, three female-specific genes were identified, as well as specific genes that were associated with a high risk of developing osteoarthritis at a young age. There were also a number of genes that were associated with pain, which may explain why some people experience more joint pain than others.

Overall, the study provides a better picture of which genetic factors increase an individual's risk of developing different types of osteoarthritis.

Read the entire article here