The largest ever study into the genetics of osteoarthritis has found eight new genes linked to the condition. Researchers at Newcastle University say it's a 'major breakthrough'.
Common genes have been found that increase the risk by between 11 per cent and 20 per cent.
The £2.2million project is the world's biggest study of its kind, comparing 7,400 patients with severe osteoarthritis with 11,000 healthy volunteers. The results were then replicated in over 7,000 arthritis patients.
Osteoarthritis affects around 40 per cent of people over the age of 70, a total of 8 million people in the UK, causing pain and disability. There is currently no cure for the condition. Treatments for early osteoarthritis are limited to non-surgical options such as pain killers and physiotherapy until joint replacement becomes an option.