Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea

A risk factor is something that raises the chances of getting a health problem. A person can get sleep apnea with or without the ones listed below. The chances of getting it are greater in people who have many.

This problem is more common in men. It is also more common in people who have other family members with it. Other things that may raise the risk are:

Health Problems

These health problems may raise the risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA):

These health problems may raise the risk of central sleep apnea:

  • Heart disorders, such as heart failure and rhythm problems
  • Stroke
  • Kidney failure
  • Brain tumors


People who smoke or are exposed to smoke are at higher risk of OSA.


People who drink alcohol have a higher risk of OSA.



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Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Kari Kassir, MD
Last Updated: 4/7/2021

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