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Sarcoidosis in Australia

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Abstract Background:

The incidence of sarcoidosis in Australia is unknown. The clinical features, diagnostic strategy and treatment of sarcoidosis in Australia have been poorly documented. Methods:

We analysed the medical records of 122 patients with sarcoidosis presenting to a respiratory service, between 1995 and 2005, which serves a regional southeastern Australian population of approximately 200 000. Results:

The incidence of sarcoidosis from 2000 to 2005 remained static and ranged from 4.4 to 6.3 patients per 100 000 population. The data showed that 55% were women and 28% were current smokers. Systems involved included lung parenchyma (66%), thoracic adenopathy (58%), skin (22%), ocular (18%), joint (11%), gastrointestinal tract (5%), central nervous system (3%) and hypercalcaemia (3%). Fifty-one per cent of patients had an increased serum angiotensin-converting enzyme level. The diagnosis was secured based on histological confirmation in 69%. Forty-three per cent of the patients were treated with oral corticosteroids and 10% with inhaled steroids. Conclusion:

Sarcoidosis in Australia is a multi-system disease of unknown aetiology. This is the first reported incidence of sarcoidosis in Australia. The incidence is similar to another US-based epidemiological study of a predominately white population. The development of a larger multicentre database would assist in the identification, clinical description and treatment of sarcoidosis.

Keywords: Sarcodiosis; incidence; presenting features

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Respiratory medicine, Geelong Hospital, Geelong, Victoria, Australia

Publication date: June 1, 2007


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