Sarcoidosis in Korea: report of the Second Nationwide Survey

Sarcoidosis Vasc Diffuse Lung Dis. 2001 Jun;18(2):176-80.


Background: In Korea, sarcoidosis is a very rare disease but the first nationwide survey performed in 1992 by the Korean Academy of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases revealed 113 biopsy-proven cases. To investigate whether sarcoidosis is continuously increasing in Korea and verify the clinical pattern, the second nationwide survey was performed.

Method: The questionnaires were sent to hospitals of larger than 80-bed size for collection of biopsy-proven sarcoidosis patients newly diagnosed between July 1992 and June 1999.

Result: A total of 309 biopsy-proven cases was recruited from 58 hospitals. The incidence has gradually increased from 14 cases in 1993 (0.027/100,000) to 59 cases in 1998 (0.125/100,000). The peak age was in the thirties (33%) and females were predominant (64.6%). Not a single case was detected among 190,029 mass chest X-ray films taken in the national tuberculosis surveys from 1980 to 1995. The most common symptom was respiratory (42%) and the most frequently involved organ was the lung (87%), followed by skin (31%). Tuberculin skin anergy was found in 82.2%. Hypercalcemia was found in 9.7% and hypercalciuria in 22.5%. FVC and FEV1 were reduced in about a quarter of the patients and reduced DLCO was found in 37%.

Conclusion: Sarcoidosis is still very rare in Korea even though it is increasing slowly and clinical manifestation was similar to the western pattern.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Korea / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Sarcoidosis / diagnosis
  • Sarcoidosis / epidemiology*
  • Sex Factors