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Eur Respir J. 2008 Feb;31(2):372-9. Epub 2007 Oct 24.

Epidemiology of sarcoidosis in Japan.

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Dept of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Nippon Medical School, 1-1-5 Sendagi, Bunkyouku, Tokyo, Japan.


The present study was designed to identify recent clinical phenotypes using the National Epidemiological Survey and to compare findings with those of previous surveys in Japan. Pathologically confirmed sarcoidosis cases newly diagnosed in 2004 were eligible for the present study. Disease parameters were recorded and compared. A total of 1,027 patients were enrolled from a cluster encompassing 79.4% of the entire Japanese population. The study participants consisted of 364 males and 663 females, providing an average incidence rate of 1.01 per 100,000 inhabitants (0.73 for males and 1.28 for females). The age-specific incidence rate displayed a biphasic pattern in the whole patient population and in the females. The male incidence rates peaked in the 20-34-yr-old group. A second peak for 50-60-yr-old females showed a higher incidence than the first younger peak. Patients with abnormalities in eyes, skin and cardiac laboratory findings accounted for 54.8, 35.4 and 23.0% of cases, respectively. The female/male incidence ratio was increased, and the frequency of eye and skin involvement and cardiac abnormality was higher than in previous surveys conducted in Japan. In conclusion, the data obtained in the present study differ from those of other countries and showed changes in sarcoidosis clinical phenotypes compared with previous studies in Japan.

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