Purpose: We sought to describe sarcoidosis mortality in the United States from 1979 through 1991.
Methods: We analyzed death certificate reports compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics for the period 1979 through 1991.
Results: Of the 26,866,600 people who died during the study period, 9,014 had a diagnosis of sarcoidosis listed on their death certificates. We restricted our study group to 5,791 people who died because of sarcoidosis or one of its complications. Among men, age-adjusted mortality rates increased from 1.3 per 1,000,000 in 1979 to 1.6 per 1,000,000 in 1991, and among women, these rates increased from 1.9 per 1,000,000 in 1979 to 2.5 per 1,000,000 in 1991. Age-adjusted mortality rates were consistently higher among blacks than whites. Age-adjusted mortality rates stratified by race, varied by state. Among whites, the highest rates were in northern states, while among blacks, the highest rates were in the Middle Atlantic and northern Midwestern states.
Conclusions: Reported mortality due to sarcoidosis varies by region, sex, and race. We cannot determine whether these differences are related to characteristics of the disease, or problems in death certification and coding.