Familial aggregation of sarcoidosis: A Case-Control Etiologic Study of Sarcoidosis (ACCESS)

Benjamin A. Rybicki, Michael C. Iannuzzi, Margaret M. Frederick, Bruce W. Thompson, Milton D. Rossman, Eddy A. Bresnitz, Michael L. Terrin, David R. Moller, Juliana Barnard, Robert P. Baughman, Louis Depalo, Gary Hunninghake, Carol Johns, Marc A. Judson, Genell L. Knatterud, Geoffrey McLennan, Lee S. Newman, David L. Rabin, Cecile Rose, Alvin S. TeirsteinSteven E. Weinberger, Henry Yeager, Reuben Cherniack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

337 Scopus citations


Despite reports of familial clustering of sarcoidosis, little empirical evidence exists that disease risk in family members of sarcoidosis cases is greater than that in the general population. To address this question, we estimated sarcoidosis familial relative risk using data on disease occurrence in 10,862 first- and 17,047 second-degree relatives of 706 age, sex, race, and geographically matched cases and controls who participated in the multicenter ACCESS (A Case-Control Etiology Study of Sarcoidosis) study from 1996 to 1999. Familial relative risk estimates were calculated using a logistic regression technique that accounted for the dependence between relatives. Sibs had the highest relative risk (odds ratio [OR] = 5.8; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.1-15.9), followed by avuncular relationships (OR = 5.7; 95% CI = 1.6-20.7), grandparents (OR = 5.2; 95% CI = 1.5-18.0), and then parents (OR = 3.8; 95% CI = 1.2-11.3). In a multivariate model fit to the parents and sibs data, the familial relative risk adjusted for age, sex, relative class, and shared environment was 4.7 (95% CI = 2.3-9.7). White cases had a markedly higher familial relative risk compared with African-American cases (18.0 versus 2.8; p = 0.098). In summary, a significant elevated risk of sarcoidosis was observed among first- and second-degree relatives of sarcoidosis cases compared with relatives of matched control subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2085-2091
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Blacks
  • Family
  • Risk
  • Whites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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