In a longitudinal case-control study, we followed 81 subjects with dysplasia of the hip and 136 control subjects without dysplasia for ten years assessing radiological evidence of degeneration of the hip at admission and follow-up. There were no cases of subluxation in the group with dysplasia. Neither subjects with dysplasia nor controls had radiological signs of ongoing degenerative disease at admission. The primary radiological discriminator of degeneration of the hip was a change in the minimum joint space width over time. There were no significant differences between these with dysplasia and controls in regard to age, body mass index or occupational exposure to daily repeated lifting at admission. We found no significant differences in the reduction of the joint space width at follow-up between subjects with dysplasia and the control subjects nor in self-reported pain in the hip. The association of subluxation and/or associated acetabular labral tears with dysplasia of the hip may be a conditional factor for the development of premature osteoarthritis in mildly to moderately dysplastic hips.