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Original Research: Diffuse Lung Disease |

Racial Difference in Sarcoidosis Mortality in the United StatesRace and Sarcoidosis-Related Mortality

Mehdi Mirsaeidi, MD, MPH; Roberto F. Machado, MD; Dean Schraufnagel, MD, FCCP; Nadera J. Sweiss, MD; Robert P. Baughman, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

From the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy (Drs Mirsaeidi, Machado, and Schraufnagel), Department of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL; University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System (Dr Sweiss), Chicago, IL; and Interstitial Lung Disease and Sarcoidosis Clinic (Dr Baughman), Department of Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH.

CORRESPONDENCE TO: Mehdi Mirsaeidi, MD, MPH, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy, Department of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, 840 S Wood St (MC 719), Room 920-N CSB, Chicago, IL 60612-7323; e-mail: mmirsae@uic.edu


FUNDING/SUPPORT: This study is supported by a National Institutes of Health grant [5 T32 HL 82547-7].

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2015;147(2):438-449. doi:10.1378/chest.14-1120
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BACKGROUND:  The clinical presentation and outcome of sarcoidosis varies by race. However, the race difference in mortality outcome remains largely unknown.

METHODS:  We studied mortality related to sarcoidosis from 1999 through 2010 by examining data on multiple causes of death from the National Center for Health Statistics. We compared the comorbid conditions between sarcoidosis-related deaths with deaths caused by car accidents (previously healthy control subjects) and rheumatoid arthritis (chronic disease control subjects) in both African Americans and Caucasians.

RESULTS:  From 1999 through 2010, sarcoidosis was reported as an immediate cause of death in 10,348 people in the United States with a combined overall mean age-adjusted mortality rate of 2.8 per 1 million person-years. Of these, 6,285 were African American and 3,984 Caucasian. The age-adjusted mortality rate for African Americans was 12 times higher than for Caucasians. African Americans died at an earlier age than Caucasians. African Americans living in the District of Columbia and North Carolina and Caucasians living in Vermont had higher mortality rates. Although the total sarcoidosis age-adjusted mortality rate had not changed over the 12 year period studied, this rate increased for Caucasians (R = 0.747, P = .005) but not for African Americans. Compared with the control groups, pulmonary hypertension was significantly more common in individuals with sarcoidosis.

CONCLUSIONS:  This nationwide population-based study exposes a significant difference in ethnicity and sex among people dying of sarcoidosis in the United States. Pulmonary hypertension investigation should be considered in all patients with sarcoidosis, especially African Americans.

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