, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 18-19
Date: 23 Dec 2011

The Effects of Aging on the Development of Osteoarthritis

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Introduction

Osteoarthritis (OA) and aging are closely related; however, aging alone does not cause OA, but rather promotes the development of OA when other risk factors are present. Despite the strong association between aging and OA, we have an incomplete understanding of the basic mechanisms by which aging contributes to the development of OA. Aging at the systemic level as well as at the level of joint tissues and the cells that create and maintain them could play a role.

Physiology of Aging and OA

Systemic changes that occur with aging and may contribute to OA include sarcopenia, increased fat mass [3], a low-grade pro-inflammatory state, a decline in production of growth hormone and sex steroids, decreased bone mass and quality, and a decrease in proprioception and balance. How these systemic factors might contribute to OA is shown in Fig. 1.Fig. 1

Systemic aging changes that may relate to the development of OA

The connection between some of these systemic factors and the development