Mortality among African American women with sarcoidosis: Data from the Black Women's Health Study


Background: Sarcoidosis is a chronic systemic granulomatous disease of unknown etiology that disproportionately affects black females. Few studies have specifically addressed causes of death in this population. Objectives: To assess rates and causes of death among women with sarcoidosis in a prospective cohort study of U.S. black women. Design: The Black Women's Health Study is a follow-up study of 59,000 U.S. black women aged 21-69 (median age 38) at entry in 1995. Data on demographic and lifestyle factors and medical conditions, including sarcoidosis, were obtained through biennial questionnaires. Deaths and causes of death from 1995 through 2009 among study subjects were identified from National Death Index data. We assessed mortality rates among women with and without a history of sarcoidosis. Poisson regression models were used to estimate age-adjusted mortality rates. Cox proportional-hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios for mortality and 95% confidence intervals. Results: A total of 121 deaths occurred among 1,192 women with a history of sarcoidosis and 2813 deaths among women without sarcoidosis. Mortality was greater at every age among women with sarcoidosis and the overall multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio was 2.44 (95% CI 2.03-2.93, p<0.0001). Of the deaths among women with sarcoidosis, 24.7% were directly attributable to sarcoidosis. Conclusions: In the Black Women's Health Study, women with sarcoidosis were more than twice as likely to die as women without the disease, with many of the deaths directly attributable to sarcoidosis. Sarcoidosis is an important cause of premature death among black women with the disease. © Mattioli 1885.

Publication Title

Sarcoidosis Vasculitis and Diffuse Lung Diseases

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