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Risk Factors for Narcolepsy

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Risk Factors for Narcolepsy

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

Narcolepsy often begins in people who are 10 to 20 years of age. Other things that may raise the risk are:

  • Faulty genes
  • Having other family members with narcolepsy
  • A history of certain strep infections


  • Narcolepsy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/narcolepsy. Accessed April 25, 2022.
  • Narcolepsy. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. National Institutes of Health website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/narcolepsy. Accessed April 26, 2022.
  • Narcolepsy fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Narcolepsy-Fact-Sheet. Accessed April 25, 2022.


  • Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.