Sleep Apnea Risk Factors and Complications

Categories: Sleep Apnea, Snoring

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a common affliction, although certain factors can increase your risk of being affected by it.

  • Excess weight greatly increases the risk of developing apnea. Fat deposits in your airway can obstruct breathing and contribute.
  • Large neck circumference might create narrower airways and apnea.
  • A narrowed airway can be a genetic trait from enlarged tonsils or adenoids also can enlarge and block the airway.
  • Men are twice as likely to develop sleep apnea than women. However, women increase their risk if they’re overweight, or after menopause.
  • Age can contribute to sleep apnea significantly more often in older adults.
  • Family members with sleep apnea might increase your risk.
  • Alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers relax the muscles in your throat, which can increase obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Smokers are three times more likely to have sleep apnea than people who’ve never smoked due to inflammation in the upper airway.
  • Nasal congestion and difficulty breathing through your nose is likely to contribute to obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Medical conditions. Congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease are some of the conditions that may increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea.

Risk factors for Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)

  • Age factors, such as middle-aged and older people, have a higher risk of central sleep apnea.
  • Gendercontributes to central sleep apnea is more common in men than it is in women.
  • Heart disorders increase the risk of developing CSA
  • Using narcotic pain medications, such as opioids, especially long-acting ones such as methadone, increase the risk of CSA.
  • Stroke increases your risk of central sleep apnea or treatment-emergent central sleep apnea.


Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition and can create dangerous complications.

  • Daytime fatigue is associated with sleep apnea and it makes normal, restorative sleep impossible and increasing severe daytime drowsiness.
  • High blood pressure or heart problems. The rapid drops in blood oxygen that occur during sleep apnea can increase blood pressure and put a strain on the heart.
  • Type 2 diabetes. Having sleep apnea increases your risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
  • Metabolic syndrome is a disorder that includes high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar, can result from sleep apnea.
  • Complications with surgery are concerns, as people with sleep apnea might be more likely to have complications after major surgery because they’re prone to breathing problems.
  • Liver problems can see abnormal results on liver function tests, and their livers can show scarring from sleep apnea.
  • Sleep-deprived partners can have to go to another room, or even to another floor of the house, to be able to sleep if their partner has apnea.

Contact Houston Sleep Solutions to discuss a treatment plan:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1769 S. Friendswood Dr. Ste 107
Friendswood, Texas