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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is sarcoidosis preventable?

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    Thanks

    Dr Peter Solin

    Respiratory & Sleep Medicine Physician

    Dr Peter Solin is a highly trained authority in sleep disorders medicine and respiratory medicine, having graduated from Melbourne University in 1987 and undertaken specialist … View Profile

    Because we haven't identified the exact cause of sarcoidosis, we don't know how to prevent it.  We know that an exaggerated inflammatory response is the cause of the abnormalities in sarcoidosis, but we haven't found the trigger.  My personal belief is that one day we will discover a germ such as a virus, or an unusual bacteria.  Up until the last 20 years, we didn't know that most gastric ulcers were in fact caused by an infective organism!  I suspect the same will happen with sarcoidosis.  So unless we work out what to avoid, or how to protect ourselves, we can't prevent sarcoidosis.  There is no data to say that it is infectious: in other words, people living with or in contact with others with sarcoidosis don't tend to ‘catch sarcoidosis’.  Doctors who treat patients with sarcoidosis don't seem to get sarcoidosis.  People of African and African-American descent tend to have more frequent sarcoidosis with consequently more severe symptoms, so there seems to be a racial predisposition.

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