There are some anatomic and physiologic characteristics that put someone at risk for sleep apnea. These include:
- Age greater than 50
- 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.
- Obesity with body mass index (BMI) greater than 35 kg/m2
- Large neck circumference greater than 40 cm
- Endocrine (hormonal) disorders, such as low thyroid, or Cushing's disease
- Nerve and muscle disorders, such as stroke, cerebral palsy, head injury, and myotonic dystrophy
- Lifestyle factors, such as smoking and drinking alcohol