Sarcoidosis affects people of all ages and races. However, it's more common among African Americans and Northern Europeans. In the United States, the disease affects African Americans somewhat more often and more severely than Whites.
Studies have shown that sarcoidosis tends to vary amongst ethnic groups. For example, eye problems related to the disease are more common in Japanese people.
Lofgren's syndrome, a type of sarcoidosis, is more common in people of European descent. Lofgren's syndrome may involve fever, enlarged lymph nodes, arthritis (usually in the ankles), and/or erythema nodosum. Erythema nodosum is a rash of red or reddish-purple bumps on your ankles and shins. The rash may be warm and tender to the touch.
Sarcoidosis is somewhat more common in women than in men. The disease usually develops between the ages of 20 and 50. People who have a family history of sarcoidosis also are at higher risk for the disease.
Researchers have looked for a link between sarcoidosis and exposure to workplace and environmental factors. However, no clear link has been found.
Living With and Managing Sarcoidosis05/18/2011
This video—presented by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health—shows how Romaine, an executive and wife, has coped with having sarcoidosis. Although she had no symptoms, Romaine learned she had sarcoidosis of the lung as the result of testing done for another reason.
Prior to being diagnosed with sarcoidosis, Romaine had never heard of the disease. Within about 5 years of her diagnosis, she began having symptoms. Her symptoms started with a dry cough, which became chronic about a year after it first developed.
Unable to speak a sentence without coughing, Romaine began taking medicine to treat her sarcoidosis. Also, she began to focus on following a healthy lifestyle, including eating well and being physically active. By following her treatment plan and making lifestyle changes, Romaine is able to live a full, active life.
For more information about living with and managing sarcoidosis, go to the Health Topics Sarcoidosis article.