Sarcoidosis is a complex inflammatory disease that causes tiny, grain-like clusters of inflamed cells – called granulomas – to form in various organs throughout the body. Over time, these clusters can grow into masses that alter or compromise organ function.
While Sarcoidosis more commonly targets lungs and lymph nodes, this chronic disease can affect various organs including the brain, eyes, kidneys, liver, nervous system and skin, among others.
Sarcoidosis affects people of any age, race, gender and ethnicity. However, it is more common among adults 20 to 40 years old. In the United States, the disease affects African Americans more often and more severely than Caucasians, according to the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The disease is also more common in people of European — particularly Scandinavian — descent.
One in every 2,000 Americans has Sarcoidosis.
The course of Sarcoidosis varies greatly among people. It can be mild, and the symptoms may go away within a few years, even without treatment. But sometimes Sarcoidosis slowly gets worse over the years and can cause permanent organ damage. The severity of the disease can vary by race and ethnicity.
There is no known cause for Sarcoidosis. There is no cure.