BACKGROUND:This study aimed to a) describe the prevalence of knee and hip osteoarthritis risk factors in a population of 29-59 year old individuals, b) estimate the association between persistent knee/hip pain and osteoarthritis risk factors, and c) describe the prevalence of osteoarthritis risk factors, including specific biomechanical risk factors, in individuals with prolonged persistent knee or hip pain. METHODS:Participants completed the "Early Detection and Prevention" pilot study questionnaire, including items on presence of knee/hip pain within the last month and osteoarthritis risk factors. Individuals reporting knee/hip problems completed a second questionnaire, including items about most problematic joint and specific biomechanical osteoarthritis risk factors. After describing the prevalence of persistent knee/hip pain and osteoarthritis risk factors among respondents stratified for sex and age, logistic regression was used to estimate the strength of associations between osteoarthritis risk factors and presence of knee/hip pain. The prevalence of prolonged persistent pain (i.e. knee/hip pain reported at both questionnaires) and osteoarthritis risk factors among respondents with prolonged persistent knee and hip pain, were described. RESULTS:Two thousand six hundred sixty-one respondents completed the first survey. The one-month prevalence of persistent knee/hip pain was 27%. Previous knee/hip injury was associated with persistent knee/hip pain for both sexes in all age groups, while a family history of osteoarthritis was associated with persistent knee/hip pain in all age groups except for 29-39 year old men. A higher BMI was associated with persistent knee/hip pain in 40-59 year old women, and 50-59 year old men. Eight hundred sixty seven respondents completed the second questionnaire. Knee/hip injuries and surgeries were more common in individuals with prolonged persistent knee than hip pain. CONCLUSIONS:Knee/hip pain within the last month was frequent among individuals aged 29-59 years. Multiple known osteoarthritis risk factors were associated with presence of knee/hip pain. Joint injury and previous surgery were more common in individuals with knee than hip pain. The results support the notion that joint injury and overweight during early adulthood are signs of a trajectory towards symptomatic osteoarthritis later in life and may help earlier identification of groups at high risk of future symptomatic osteoarthritis. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov ( NCT02797392 ). Registered April 29,2016.