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COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Sarcoidosis presenting in patients older than 50 years

Roberta Lenner, Gregory J Schilero, Maria L Padilla, Alvin S Teirstein
Sarcoidosis, Vasculitis, and Diffuse Lung Diseases: Official Journal of WASOG 2002, 19 (2): 143-7
12102610

BACKGROUND: Sarcoidosis occurs most often between 20 and 40 years of age, but also presents in children and older adults. Newly diagnosed sarcoidosis in older patients has received little attention. In order to characterize sarcoidosis in older patients, the clinical, radiographic and laboratory features of sarcoidosis presenting in patients aged 50 or older were compared to patients whose sarcoidosis was diagnosed at an earlier age.

METHODS: The medical records of 181 consecutive patients with sarcoidosis were reviewed. They were divided into 92 patients diagnosed at 50 years of age or older (group A), and 89 whose diagnosis preceded age 50 (group B).

RESULTS: Comparison of group A with group B revealed that the two groups were similar with regard to race, gender, smoking habits, common presenting symptoms, organ system involvement, pulmonary function data, radiographic stage, PPD status, and laboratory values. At the time of diagnosis, most patients in both groups presented with either respiratory symptoms or asymptomatic chest roentgenogram abnormalities. The most prevalent pulmonary function abnormality was reduced diffusing capacity in both groups. Most patients exhibited either stage I or II chest roentgenograms. Organ systems most commonly involved included lung, lymph nodes, and skin.

CONCLUSION: Sarcoidosis presents with similar clinical features whether diagnosed in young adults or in patients over the age of 50. The diagnosis of sarcoidosis should be considered in patients presenting over age 50 with characteristic signs and symptoms including chest radiographic evidence of mediastinal lymphadenopathy.

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