There are some anatomic and physiologic characteristics that put someone at risk for sleep apnea. These include:

  1. Age greater than 50
  2. Anatomic factors, such as a large tongue or small chin, that can cause narrowing or blockage of the airway. Children with large tonsils are also at higher risk.
  3. Obesity with body mass index (BMI) greater than 35 kg/m2
  4. Large neck circumference greater than 40 cm
  5. Snoring
  6. Endocrine (hormonal) disorders, such as low thyroid, or Cushing’s disease
  7. Nerve and muscle disorders, such as stroke, cerebral palsy, head injury, and myotonic dystrophy
  8. Lifestyle factors, such as smoking and drinking alcohol

Who is at Risk for Sleep Apnea?

Risk factors for this form of sleep apnea include: Being older. Middle-aged and older people have a higher risk of central sleep apnea. Being male.
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