Racial difference in sarcoidosis mortality in the United States

Mehdi Mirsaeidi, Roberto F. Machado, Dean Schraufnagel, Nadera J. Sweiss, Robert P. Baughman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-449
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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