Sarcoidosis Patients, Especially Women, Have Increased Risk of Hospitalization

Joana Fernandes, PhD avatar

by Joana Fernandes, PhD |

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Cardiac sarcoidosis cases

Sarcoidosis patients are more susceptible to hospitalization than the general population, especially female patients, according to results of a new study. More studies are warranted to understand the reasons why women with sarcoidosis seem to be particularly disposed to hospitalization.

The study, “Hospitalization Among Patients With Sarcoidosis: A Population-Based Cohort Study 1987-2015” was published in the journal Lung.

“The disease burden and healthcare utilization of sarcoidosis are not well studied,” the researchers wrote. “Previous investigations of hospitalization trends among these patients have yielded conflicting results. The current study is the first to utilize a population-based cohort to investigate the rate of hospitalization among patients with sarcoidosis compared to sex- and age-matched subjects without sarcoidosis.”

Researchers used the Rochester Epidemiology Project database to analyze the medical data of 332 sarcoidosis patients identified in Olmsted County, Minnesota, from 1976-2013 (data was available from 1987 to 2015). Each patient was then matched to an individual without sarcoidosis with the same age and gender selected from the same population to compare the overall rates of hospitalization.

Results showed that hospitalization rates were significantly higher among patients with sarcoidosis, especially among female patients. In total, patients with sarcoidosis had 852 hospitalizations during 4,913 person-year (py) of follow-up, corresponding to a hospitalization rate of 17.3 per 100 py. Individuals without sarcoidosis had 694 hospitalizations during 5,496 py, corresponding to a hospitalization rate of 12.6 per 100 py.

Analysis based on gender showed a significantly increased rate of hospitalization among females.

“In this population, females with sarcoidosis had a significantly higher rate of hospitalization compared to female without sarcoidosis,” researchers wrote. “In contrast, the rate of hospitalization among males with and without sarcoidosis was not significantly different. Further investigation may illuminate reasons for these findings.”

The overall rates of hospitalization, considering both age and gender, were stable from 1987 to 2015 between sarcoidosis patients and healthy individuals.

The average length of stay was 4.6 days for sarcoidosis hospitalizations and 4.4 days for non-sarcoidosis hospitalizations, showing that hospitalized patients stayed in the hospital for similar periods of time  regardless of the cause.

Sarcoidosis is characterized by the accumulation of immune system cells (granulomas) that occur in multiple organs, potentially impairing their function. Symptoms of sarcoidosis are usually nonspecific and generalized, including fever, fatigue, and weight loss, but vary depending on the organs affected.