In previous analyses of the occurrence of central (CSA) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF), only men were studied and risk factors for these disorders were not well characterized. We therefore analyzed risk factors for CSA and OSA in 450 consecutive patients with CHF (382 male, 68 female) referred to our sleep laboratory. Risk factors for CSA were male gender (odds ratio [OR] 3.50; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.39 to 8.84), atrial fibrillation (OR 4.13; 95% CI 1.53 to 11. 14), age > 60 yr (OR 2.37; 95% CI 1.35 to 4.15), and hypocapnia (PCO(2 )< 38 mm Hg during wakefulness) (OR 4.33; 95% CI 2.50 to 7. 52). Risk factors for OSA differed by gender: in men, only body mass index (BMI) was significantly associated with OSA (OR for a BMI > 35 kg/m(2), 6.10; 95% CI 2.86 to 13.00); whereas, in women, age was the only important risk factor (OR for age > 60 yr, 6.04; 95% CI 1.75 to 20.0). We conclude that historical information, supplemented by a few simple laboratory tests may enable physicians to risk stratify CHF patients for the presence of CSA or OSA, and the need for diagnostic polysomnography for such patients. Sin DD, Fitzgerald F, Parker JD, Newton G, Floras JS, Bradley TD. Risk factors for central and obstructive sleep apnea in 450 men and women with congestive heart failure.