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Original Research: PULMONARY VASCULAR DISEASE |

Increased Risk of Pulmonary Embolism Among US Decedents With Sarcoidosis From 1988 to 2007Sarcoidosis and Pulmonary Embolism

Jeffrey J. Swigris, DO; Amy L. Olson, MD; Tristan J. Huie, MD; Evans R. Fernandez-Perez, MD, FCCP; Joshua J. Solomon, MD, FCCP; David Sprunger, MS; Kevin K. Brown, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

From the Autoimmune Lung Center and Interstitial Lung Disease Program, National Jewish Health, Denver, CO.

Correspondence to: Jeffrey J. Swigris, DO, Autoimmune Lung Center and Interstitial Lung Disease Program, National Jewish Health, Southside Building, Office No. G011, 1400 Jackson St, Denver, CO 80206; e-mail: swigrisj@njc.org


Funding/Support: Dr Swigris is supported in part by a Career Development Award from the NIH [K23 HL092227].

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2011 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2011;140(5):1261-1266. doi:10.1378/chest.11-0324
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Background:  A recently published report from the United Kingdom suggested an association between sarcoidosis and pulmonary embolism (PE). We sought to examine whether this association was present among US decedents with sarcoidosis.

Methods:  We used data from the National Center for Health Statistics to investigate the association between sarcoidosis and PE among US decedents from 1988 to 2007.

Results:  From 1988 to 2007, there were 46,450,489 deaths in the United States and 23,679 decedents with sarcoidosis mentioned on their death certificates. Among these, 602 (2.54%) had PE mentioned on their death certificates, compared with only 1.13% of the background population (P < .0001 for comparison). The association between sarcoidosis and PE was significant regardless of gender (OR, 2.07; 95% CI, 1.80-2.39; P < .0001 for men and OR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.59-1.96; P ≤ .0001 for women) or race (OR, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.41-1.76; P < .0001 for blacks and OR, 1.87; 95% CI, 1.63-2.14; P < .0001 for whites). Among decedents with sarcoidosis, there was no difference in risk of PE between men and women (2.30% vs 2.54%, χ2 = 1.32, P = .25) or between blacks and whites (2.60% vs 2.23%, χ2 = 3.09, P = .08). The association between sarcoidosis and PE held regardless of age.

Conclusions:  Using death certificate data from 1988 to 2007, we detected an association between sarcoidosis and PE regardless of gender, race, or age. Further investigation is needed to decipher the mechanisms of this apparent association.

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