Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and is a leading cause of pain and disability worldwide. There is thought to be an important genetic component to the development of OA. In this review article, the methods used to study the genetics of OA are discussed, along with the main findings from these analyses, with a particular focus on the results of genome-wide association scans (GWAS). Functional validation of the results from genetic studies of OA is also described to put the genetic results into a biological context and show their relevance to the mechanisms involved in the development and progression of OA. The clinical relevance of the genetic findings to date is also discussed, as well as the research, which is still needed in this field to further improve the understanding of OA pathogenesis.
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