A wide range of diseases course with an unbalance between the consumption of oxygen by tissues and its supply. This situation triggers a transcriptional response, mediated by the hypoxia inducible factors (HIFs), that aims to restore oxygen homeostasis. Little is known about the inter-individual variation in this response and its role in the progression of disease. Herein, we sought to identify common genetic variants mapping to hypoxia response elements (HREs) and characterize their effect on transcription. To this end, we constructed a list of genome-wide HIF-binding regions from publicly available experimental datasets and studied the genetic variability in these regions by targeted re-sequencing of genomic samples from 96 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and 144 obstructive sleep apnea patients. This study identified 14 frequent variants disrupting potential HREs. The analysis of the genomic regions containing these variants by means of reporter assays revealed that variants rs1009329, rs6593210 and rs150921338 impaired the transcriptional response to hypoxia. Finally, using genome editing we confirmed the functional role of rs6593210 in the transcriptional regulation of EGFR. In summary, we found that inter-individual variability in non-coding regions affect the response to hypoxia and could potentially impact on the progression of pulmonary diseases.