Health Library

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

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

Certain Medical Conditions

The following medical conditions increase your chances of getting sinusitis:

Age

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

Gender

Women have a greater chance of developing sinusitis than men.

Ethnic Background

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

Environmental Factors

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

Activities

Flying and diving both increase your chance of getting sinusitis.

Revision Information

  • 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.