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A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.

It is possible to develop sinusitis with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing sinusitis. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.

Risk factors for sinusitis include the following:

Smoking and being exposed to second-hand smoke increases your risk of developing sinusitis.

The following medical conditions increase your chances of getting sinusitis:

In general, elderly people and young people have a higher risk of developing respiratory tract infections, including sinusitis.

Women have a greater chance of developing sinusitis than men.

Whites and blacks have a higher risk of developing sinusitis than do Hispanics.

  • Traveling to high altitudes
  • Air pollution
  • Living in the Midwest or southern United States

Flying and diving both increase your chance of getting sinusitis.

References:

Rakel RE, Bope ET. Conn’s Current Therapy. 54th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2002.

Sinus infection (sinusitis). National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/sinusitis/Pages/Index.aspx. Accessed September 12, 2008.

Last reviewed October 2012 by Brian Randall, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.