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Suffolk Proclaims April as Sarcoidosis Awareness Month

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has signed legislation proclaiming April as Sarcoidosis Awareness Month in Suffolk County. The resolution, introduced by Legislator Kara Hahn, was intended to bring attention to this disease which is characterized by an overactive immune system and that, despite many years of research, still has no known specific cause.


 While some sarcoidosis patients will experience symptoms for several months to years before being diagnosed, 60 percent will show no symptoms at all. Thus, sarcoidosis is an under-recognized and under-diagnosed condition.

“Sarcoidosis is a disease that affects many of our fellow citizens in chronic and debilitating ways,” said Executive Bellone. “By raising awareness of sarcoidosis, we hope to highlight the need for more research funding to discover the cause and ultimately cure the disease.”


Though the majority of patients with sarcoidosis do not require treatment, approximately 30% patients have their disease for more than 3 years. This group of patients may have a harder time and can suffer greater organ damage. Even when symptoms subside (remission), sarcoidosis can return. In rare cases, sarcoidosis is fatal.


“Among the patients who do require treatment, most respond to therapy,” said Dr. James Tomarken, Suffolk County Health Commissioner. “We encourage doctors to consider patients who demonstrate chronic lung or ocular (eye) symptoms to consider such tests as chest X-rays, and/or bronchoscopy (lung tissue sample) and to refer chronic patients to one of the eight centers within the U.S. that specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of sarcoidosis.” 


According to Dr. Adam Morgenthau, Associate Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Sarcoidosis Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, “Treatment is indicated when organ dysfunction is present. The mainstay of treatment for sarcoidosis is prednisone.  However, prednisone is often incorrectly administered in high doses, which causes patients to have significant adverse side effects.  There is evidence that sarcoidosis responds to low-to-moderate doses of prednisone when it is given during an 18-month period.”


Research is ongoing for new and better treatments for sarcoidosis. For more information about sarcoidosis and upcoming clinical trials visit

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