Arthritis and all other rheumatic diseases are partially rooted in genetic and inherited causes, according to the American College of Rheumatology. While specific causes vary among each type of rheumatic disease, most forms of arthritis are multifactorial, or caused by numerous genetic factors.
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases explains that people with rheumatic diseases typically have a predisposition due to genetics, but other environmental factors may act as catalysts for their conditions. For example, multiple injuries to a certain joint can exacerbate an inherited joint cartilage weakness and lead to osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis. As of 2014, research is being done on additional hereditary connections related to arthritis and other rheumatic diseases.