Objectives: Although sarcoidosis is classically defined to be a disease of young adults, it might also be seen at older ages. There are very few clinical studies which focus on the features of patients diagnosed at older ages. In this study, we tried to determine the frequency of patients diagnosed at or above 50 years of age and to compare the clinical and demographic features of these subjects with other sarcoidosis patients.
Methods: We evaluated the general clinical features of sarcoidosis patients more than 50 years of age who were diagnosed at our center within a 36-year period. We also compared the clinical features of older sarcoidosis patients with the features of other patients.
Results: Of 579 sarcoidosis patients being followed up at our center, 102 (17.7%) were older than 50 years of age at the time of initial diagnosis. The female to male ratio in this group was higher than the ratio in other sarcoidosis patients (3.43 versus 1.85, P = 0.015). When the features of older patients were compared with other sarcoidosis patients, extrapulmonary involvement was observed to be more common in this group (P < 0.001). By contrast, arthritis or arthralgia (P < 0.001), clinical presentation in the form of Löfgren syndrome (P < 0.001), erythema nodosum (P < 0.001), and uveitis (P = 0.006) were less frequent.
Conclusions: Although generally presenting as a disease of the young, in many subjects sarcoidosis is diagnosed at older ages, and this study indicates that the clinical features of sarcoidosis in older subjects differ from those found among younger patients.