Background and aims: Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee or hip is associated with limitations in activities of daily life. There are only a few long-term studies on how knee or hip OA affects the course of physical performance. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of knee or hip OA on physical performance during a follow-up period of 10 years. Methods: Participants in the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam with self-reported hip or knee OA (N = 155) were prospectively followed for 10 years on 4 occasions from the onset of OA and compared to participants without OA (N = 1004). Physical performance was tested with walk, chair stand and balance tests. Scores for each test were summed to a total performance score (range 0-12), higher scores indicating better performance. Generalized estimating equations were used to analyze differences between participants with and without OA, unadjusted as well as adjusted for confounders. Results: There was a significant interaction between OA and sex (P = 0.068). Both in men and women, total performance was lower for participants with OA, with greater differences in men. Chair stand and walking performance (P < 0.05), but not balance, were lower in participants with OA. After adjustment for confounders, these associations remained significant in men but not in women. Additional analyses correcting for follow-up duration and attrition showed lower performance scores for men and women with OA. Conclusions: OA negatively affected physical performance 3-6 years after it was first reported. Performance in men with OA was more affected than in women. © 2013 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.