SEPARATE AND UNIQUE FACTORS LEAD TO DIFFERENT TYPES OF LUNG DISEASE
New research shows that systemic and clinical pulmonary-only sarcoidosis may be caused by different environmental exposures that ultimately lead to these different subsets of the same disease. Researchers from Philadelphia, PA; Baltimore, MD; Denver, CO; and Charleston, SC studied 718 patients with newly-diagnosed sarcoidosis from 10 sites across the United States who were included in the A Case Control Etiologic Study of Sarcoidosis (ACCESS). Within the cohort, 311 patients (43 percent) had pulmonary-only disease while 407 patients (57 percent) had systemic involvement. Researchers found that the duration and intensity of exposure to some environmental elements may be related to the development of sarcoidosis, because patients exposed to metal dust at work and at home/hobby were more likely to have pulmonary-only disease. Researchers found that African-Americans' exposure to wood burning and Caucasians' exposure to agricultural organic dust are associated with different phenotypes of sarcoidosis. This finding may indicate that African-Americans and Caucasians are either affected differently by the same exposures or that they come into contact with different exposures. The study appears in the July issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.