The Burden of Comorbidity and Complexity in Sarcoidosis: Impact of Associated Chronic Diseases

Lung. 2018 Apr;196(2):239-248. doi: 10.1007/s00408-017-0076-4. Epub 2017 Dec 11.


Purpose: To evaluate comorbidity, complexity and poor outcomes in patients with sarcoidosis and to compare those scores with a control group.

Methods: 218 consecutive patients were diagnosed with sarcoidosis according to the ATS/ERS/WASOG criteria; extrathoracic involvement was evaluated using the 2014 WASOG organ assessment instrument. Sarcoidosis patients were compared with an age- and gender-matched control group of primary care outpatients without sarcoidosis. Comorbidities were assessed retrospectively using the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI); complexity was evaluated according to the classification into Clinical Risk Groups (CRG) and severity levels.

Results: The cohort included 142 women and 76 men; the mean age was 47.1 years at diagnosis of sarcoidosis and 55.9 years at the last visit. Patients with a CCI > 1 had a higher frequency of calcium/vitamin D abnormalities (p < 0.001), kidney involvement (p = 0.005) and a higher mortality rate (p < 0.001) compared with patients with a CCI ≤ 1. Patients with a CRG ≥ 6 had a higher frequency of extrathoracic involvement (p = 0.039), calcium/vitamin D abnormalities (p = 0.019) and treatment with glucocorticoids (p = 0.032) compared with patients with a CRG < 6. 11% patients died after a mean follow-up of 102.3 months. Country of birth, kidney involvement and extrathoracic disease were significantly associated with death. Patients with sarcoidosis had a higher frequency of liver (p < 0.001), pulmonary (p = 0.002) and autoimmune disease (p = 0.011) and cancer (p = 0.007) compared with the control group.

Conclusion: We found higher rates of comorbidity and complexity in patients with sarcoidosis compared with a control group. Liver, pulmonary, autoimmune and neoplastic diseases were the main comorbidities found in patients with sarcoidosis.

Keywords: Clinical Risk Groups; Comorbidity; Complexity; Sarcoidosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sarcoidosis / diagnosis
  • Sarcoidosis / epidemiology*
  • Sarcoidosis / mortality
  • Sarcoidosis / therapy
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Young Adult