Selected factors potentially associated with radiographic osteoarthritis (OA) were studied in 2 subsamples of 79-year-olds, within the longitudinal prospective study 70-year-old People in Göteborg. A very significant (p less than 0.01 in men, p less than 0.001 in women) association was found between radiographic knee OA and body mass index (BMI), and a significant (p less than 0.05) association was also observed between radiographic hand OA and BMI in men. Smoking correlated negatively (p less than 0.01) to radiographic knee OA in both sexes, even after adjusting for BMI. Other factors, including diabetes, ischemic heart disease, hypertension, physical activity, education, vocational training, marital status, serum uric acid, triglycerides, cholesterol and blood glucose levels did not correlate to radiographic OA. Finally, no correlation was found between either decreased bone mineral content or the presence of previous fragility fractures.