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Sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis

10/20/2006

Question:

I have sarcoidosis of the lungs, I worked around chemicals all the time, Iam a nonesmoker for 44 years.

Answer:

Dear Sir/Madam-
 
Unfortunately, even if you do not smoke you can get sarcoidosis.  The relationship between sarcoidosis and various environmental exposures is not well described in the research literature, but one very large research study (A Case Controlled Etiologic Study of Sarcoidosis) concluded that exposure to molds, insecticides, and agricultural settings (farming) were risk factors.  The relationship between sarcoidosis and chemical exposures remains unclear, but some of the firefighters who responded to the 9/11 crisis developed sarcoidosis.  They were exposed to dust, smoke, chemicals, etc.
 
As of 2006, most experts would say that sarcoidosis is probably caused by an exposure to something in the environment, be it an infection or some other substance, in a person who is predisposed, perhaps because of a genetic (inherited) cause.  Obviously, a lot more work (research) needs to be done to understand and improve the treatment of this mysterious disease.
 
Sincerely,
 
Elliott Crouser MD
The Ohio State University Medical Center

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Response by:

Elliott D Crouser, MD Elliott D Crouser, MD
Associate Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University