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This is by far the most common type of osteoarthritis.
The patient is commonly a white female (female:male = 10:1) in the sixth decade.
There is a strong genetic element to this type of osteo- arthritis. Family studies suggest a polygenic mode of inheritance or possibly a dominant trait with variable penetrance.
Mechanical factors have some role in determining which joints are involved.
The disease often coincides with the menopause in the female. However, there is no clear correlation with hormone levels and hormone replacement is not beneficial.