Background: Regional and ethnic differences in the presentation and prognosis of sarcoidosis have been reported.
Objectives: To describe and compare the clinical characteristics of sarcoidosis among Arabs and South East Asians (SEA).
Methods: Data on patients with sarcoidosis were collected retrospectively 1983-1995 and prospectively 1995-2003.
Results: A total of 142 patients, 57% females and 80% Arabs, were identified. The age at onset shows the majority of cases (45%) among Arab males occur at 30-39 years, 60% of Arab females occur at 40-59 years and 61% of SEA males occur at 40-49 years. The most common symptoms were cough 77.5%, dyspnoea 54.2%, fever 31.0%, arthralgia 19%, uveitis 14.8%, erythema nodosum 14.8%, and lymphadenopathy 12%. The radiological stage at presentation was stage 0,2.1%, I,44.4%, II,42.3%, and III,11.3%. The frequency of either stage 0 or I was higher among SEA (62%) compared to Arabs 42.5%, p=0.05.
Conclusion: There is a peak of sarcoidosis among Arab males at 30-39 years, Arab females at 40-59 years and SEA males at 40-49 years. Arab patients presented more frequently with either stage II or III compared to SEA who usually present with stage 0 or I.