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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Epidemiology of sarcoidosis in Afro-Caribbean people: a 7-year retrospective study in Guadeloupe

Nolwenn Coquart, Gilbert Cadelis, Benoît Tressières, Nadege Cordel
International Journal of Dermatology 2015, 54 (2): 188-92
24962008

BACKGROUND: There are no reliable epidemiological data on sarcoidosis in the French West Indies, although this disease is known to be more frequent and more severe in Black African-Americans and West Indians.

OBJECTIVES: This retrospective study aimed to assess the incidence and prevalence of sarcoidosis in Guadeloupe over a 7-year period and to determine its epidemiological, clinical, and evolutionary characteristics.

METHODS: Patients were identified through the computerized databases of the three pathology laboratories and two hospitals on the islands of Guadeloupe. Histologically proven cases of sarcoidosis were selected. All patients were recalled at a single study time-point.

RESULTS: A total of 75 patients were identified. These included 44 women and 31 men (sex ratio: 1.4), with a mean ± standard deviation (SD) age of 47 ± 14 years and Fitzpatrick skin types IV-VI. The average incidence was 2.28 per 100,000 inhabitants per year (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.69-3.02). The prevalence of sarcoidosis in 2009 was 21.09 per 100,000 inhabitants (95% CI 16.00-26.18). Most patients (61/71, 85.9%) exhibited multiple organ involvement; the mean ± SD number of organs involved was 2.6 ± 1.1. The initiation of systemic therapy was required in 75.7% of cases. Several lines of treatment were necessary in 41.5% of affected patients. At the study time-point, seven patients were found to have died. Four of these deaths were directly attributable to sarcoidosis (mortality rate: 5.3%).

CONCLUSIONS: This epidemiological study on sarcoidosis in Guadeloupe reveals a low incidence of the disease and a high degree of severity as evidenced by the average number of affected organs, the high frequency of extrathoracic organ involvement, the frequent use of corticosteroids, and a mortality rate of 5.3%.

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