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Photocopier exposure and risk of sarcoidosis in African-American sibs.

Author information

1
Department of Biostatistics and Research Epidemiology, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Michigan 48202, USA. brybick1@hfhs.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In a family study of sarcoidosis in African-Americans, we detected a positive association between sarcoidosis and ever working in a sales or clerical occupation. This finding, and case reports of granulomatous lung disease in patients with photocopier toner dust exposure, led us to hypothesize that sarcoidosis risk may increase as a result of photocopier exposure.

METHODS:

Retrospective data on photocopier use and maintenance were collected from African-American sarcoidosis cases and their first degree relatives. The study sample consisted of 181 African-American sibships where one or more members had a history of sarcoidosis (n = 540).

RESULTS:

Sarcoidosis was statistically significantly associated with ever using a photocopier (Odds Ratio [OR] = 1.74, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.23-2.46), and ever changing photocopier toner or carrying out photocopier maintenance (OR = 2.88, 95% CI 1.83-4.54). In a conditional logistic regression model that adjusted for age and sex, the OR associated with a sarcoidosis history and being in the highest tertile of photocopier exposure ranged from 1.83 to 2.19 depending on the exposure measure used.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest that photocopier toner dust may be a previously unrecognized antigen in the pathophysiology of some patients diagnosed with sarcoidosis.

PMID:
15127975
DOI:
10.1007/s11083-004-2862-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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