Is sleep apnea hereditary?

Is sleep apnea hereditary? I have sleep apnea, but no one else in my family does. Is it something that I could pass on to my kids?

Doctors Answers (3)

Richard L. Jacobson, D.M.D., M.S.
Answered on: 5/28/2014

Yes it is hereditary.

SomnoDiagnostics, Inc.
Answered on: 5/16/2014

Yes it is hereditary and your children are at risk. Please make them aware of the signs and symptoms.

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 5/16/2014

Obstructive sleep apnea is often hereditary. This is felt to be secondary to the anatomical variants in the pharynx which predispose one to obstructive sleep apnea. (OSA) Snoring, which is a common symptom associated with obstructive sleep apnea is usually present in the parents or siblings of persons diagnosed with OSA. Even with a careful history to exclude a familial relationship, there are fairly frequent cases of OSA without a family history of the disorder.