Study reveals sarcoidosis-related mortality rates among black women

May 22, 2012

A new study conducted by researchers from Boston University has found that sarcoidosis accounts for 25 percent of all deaths among women in the Black Women's Health Study who have the disease. The study is the largest epidemiologic study to date to specifically address mortality in black females with sarcoidosis.

Results of the study will be presented at the ATS 2012 International Conference in San Francisco.

The exact cause of sarcoidosis, which causes inflammation in the lungs, lymph nodes, liver, skin and other tissues, are unknown. The disease typically begins between the ages of 20 and 40 years, and is more likely to affect individuals who have a close blood relative with the disease. Sarcoidosis is often associated with debilitating lung illness, including , a life-threatening condition in which develops within the lungs. While all ages and races can develop sarcoidosis, in the United States, have a higher incidence of the disease, and tend to have a more severe course and higher .

"Despite the disproportionate morbidity and mortality of sarcoidosis in black females, few studies have specifically addressed causes of death in this population," said study lead author Melissa Tukey, MD, pulmonary and fellow at Boston Medical Center.

To conduct their analysis, the researchers used data from the Black Women's Health Study, a that enrolled 59,000 African-American participants aged 21-69 when the study was initiated in 1995. During follow-up through 2008, demographic data, and medical conditions, including sarcoidosis, were ascertained through biennial questionnaires. Self-reported diagnoses of sarcoidosis were confirmed in 96 percent of cases for whom medical records or physician checklists were obtained. The researchers obtained data regarding deaths and causes of death among study subjects from the National Death Index.

At the conclusion of their analysis, the researchers found that a total of 109 deaths occurred among 1,152 women with a history of sarcoidosis, reflecting a cumulative mortality rate of 9.5 percent. Of these deaths, the researchers determined that 25.7% (28 deaths) were directly attributable to sarcoidosis, and an additional 4.6% (five deaths) listed pulmonary hypertension or pulmonary fibrosis as the underlying or primary cause of death. Among women whose deaths were directly attributable to sarcoidosis, 46 percent were caused by respiratory failure. The median age at time of death among all deaths was 58 years.

"These findings highlight the importance of sarcoidosis, and pulmonary disease in particular, as a cause of premature death among black women with the disease," Dr. Tukey said. "This information can help prepare people with the disease to watch for worrisome symptoms so that treatment can be applied, and to alert doctors to the possibility of severe pulmonary disease in black women with sarcoidosis."

Future studies are planned within the Black Women's looking at genetic and environmental influences onsarcoidosis in black women, she said.

Explore further: Biosignatures distinguish between tuberculosis and sarcoidosis

More information: "Mortality Among African American Women With Sarcoidosis: Data From The Black Women's Health Study" (Session C103, Tuesday, May 22, Room 131, Moscone Center; Abstract 26161)

Related Stories

Biosignatures distinguish between tuberculosis and sarcoidosis

May 7, 2012
With a range of diseases, doctors need unique features which they can use to unequivocally identify a patient's illness for an appropriate diagnosis. Scientists therefore search for the biomarkers for an illness or a combination ...

Obesity and large waist size linked to higher risk of death in African-American women

September 7, 2011
The risk of death increases with higher levels of overweight and obesity among African American women, according to a new study led by researchers from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University. In addition, a larger ...

Infant mortality linked to subsequent risk of stillbirth finds new US study

September 21, 2011
Women whose first pregnancy ended in infant death are significantly more likely to have a subsequent stillbirth finds new research published today (21 September) in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Recommended for you

Co-infection with two common gut pathogens worsens malnutrition in mice

July 27, 2017
Two gut pathogens commonly found in malnourished children combine to worsen malnutrition and impair growth in laboratory mice, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens.

Finish your antibiotics course? Maybe not, experts say

July 27, 2017
British disease experts on Thursday suggested doing away with the "incorrect" advice to always finish a course of antibiotics, saying the approach was fuelling the spread of drug resistance.

Phase 3 trial confirms superiority of tocilizumab to steroids for giant cell arteritis

July 26, 2017
A phase 3 clinical trial has confirmed that regular treatment with tocilizumab, an inhibitor of interleukin-6, successfully reduced both symptoms of and the need for high-dose steroid treatment for giant cell arteritis, the ...

A large-scale 'germ trap' solution for hospitals

July 26, 2017
When an infectious airborne illness strikes, some hospitals use negative pressure rooms to isolate and treat patients. These rooms use ventilation controls to keep germ-filled air contained rather than letting it circulate ...

Researchers report new system to study chronic hepatitis B

July 25, 2017
Scientists from Princeton University's Department of Molecular Biology have successfully tested a cell-culture system that will allow researchers to perform laboratory-based studies of long-term hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections. ...

Male hepatitis B patients suffer worse liver ailments, regardless of lifestyle

July 25, 2017
Why men with hepatitis B remain more than twice as likely to develop severe liver disease than women remains a mystery, even after a study led by a recent Drexel University graduate took lifestyle choices and environments ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.