Background and aim of work: Sleep apnea is reported to occur in 2-4% of the general population. Patients with sarcoidosis are at increased risk for sleep apnea, possibly due to factors such as steroid use, neurosarcoid, or upper airway obstruction.
Methods: In order to determine the prevalence and risk factors for sleep apnea in sarcoidosis patients, we studied 83 consecutive patients with sarcoidosis seen over a six-week time period. Patients were screened using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale questionnaire and the age, sex, race, weight, and medications were recorded. The presence of previously diagnosed sleep apnea, neurosarcoid, lupus pernio, and sinus disease were also noted. A control group of 91 patients seen in general pulmonary clinics were similarly screened. Patients with a positive sleep questionnaire were referred for sleep studies.
Results: A total of 14 sarcoid patients (17%) were found to have sleep apnea, which was significantly higher than our control group with 3/91 (3%, p < 0.001). The presence of lupus pernio was significantly more frequent in the sleep apnea group. Although 5/51 (10%) female sarcoid patients had sleep apnea, overall it was more frequent in male sarcoid patients.
Conclusions: Sleep apnea was frequent in sarcoid patients and was associated with lupus pernio.