In many ways, sarcoidosis is a mysterious disease, as researchers have not yet pinpointed the exact cause. Some research studies have helped to develop theories about potential causes, but no conclusive proof has been found. However, researchers have narrowed down risk factors for sarcoidosis. Individuals who fall into the 'risk factor' group have a higher chance of developing the disease than those who do not. Sarcoidosis occurs when groups of inflammatory cells, called granulomas, form throughout multiple organs, causing the organs to become inflamed. In some cases, sarcoidosis might be caused when a person's immune system responds to foreign substances. These substances might include chemicals, bacteria, and viruses. Continue reading for more on risk factors and causes of sarcoidosis.
Sarcoidosis affects individuals all over the world. Anyone has the potential to develop it, regardless of their physical characteristics. However, some groups are at a higher risk than others.
Women have a slightly higher chance of developing sarcoidosis than men, meaning more women have historically received a sarcoidosis diagnosis than men. Because the actual cause of sarcoidosis is not known, it's difficult to tell whether the gender discrepancy is a coincidence or a part of the illness. For example, it is possible sarcoidosis affects both men and women equally, but for social reasons, women are more likely to seek treatment. Alternatively, it's possible there is a difference between the physiology of men and women that allows the disease to be more easily triggered in women.
Continue reading to learn about ethnicity as a factor for this condition.