OBJECTIVE: To determine which baseline characteristics, especially clinically variables like pain, stiffness, physical functioning and disease variables, are associated with incident hip OA within 10 years in first presenters with hip complaints. Rheumatology key messages History taking and not physical exam variables are associated with incident hip osteoarthritis. Specific questions about daily life activities are associated with incident hip OA. These questions are about pain while walking/shopping, difficulties putting socks on/off and rising from bed. METHODS: Data were obtained from the nationwide prospective Cohort Hip and Cohort Knee (CHECK) study (n = 1002). Incident hip OA was defined as fulfilling the clinical ACR criteria for hip OA, a Kellgren and Lawrence score ≥2 with hip pain, or received a hip replacement during follow-up. Baseline measurements were used of participants with hip complaints and without hip OA. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to reduce the number of correlated variables. Associations between baseline characteristics (including PCA components) and incident hip OA were investigated using logistic regression analysis, adjusted for age, sex and BMI. RESULTS: In total, 312 participants (85% female and 98% Caucasian) were included, 181 developed hip OA. PCA resulted in four components. Incident hip OA was associated with (i) component 1 (general presence of pain and symptoms) [odds ratio (OR) = 1.46 (95%CI: 1.08, 1.98)], (ii) component 3 (relatively high levels of pain during shopping/walking combined with less difficulty with putting socks on/off and rising from bed) [OR = 1.58 (95%CI: 1.18, 2.12)] and (iii) knee pain [OR = 0.34 (95% CI: 0.17, 0.66)]. CONCLUSION: In first presenters with hip complaints, use of a few history-taking variables might allow better recognition of those at higher odds for incident hip OA within 10 years.