Association of Medication Adherence and Clinical Outcomes in Sarcoidosis

Published:February 04, 2020DOI:


      Sarcoidosis, one of the most common interstitial lung diseases, has significant health disparities. Approximately 50% of individuals affected with sarcoidosis will undergo spontaneous remission, but those who do not undergo remission often require long-term or lifelong treatment to prevent disease progression. We sought to assess the association between medication adherence and clinical outcomes in sarcoidosis.


      Adult patients in the Johns Hopkins Sarcoidosis Clinic diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis on treatment were eligible for enrollment. Questionnaires were administered to assess medication adherence, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), health-care utilization, and sociodemographic information. Clinical information was abstracted from medical charts including lung function, disease duration, comorbidities, and sarcoidosis organ involvement.


      A total of 117 participants were enrolled (57% women; 55% black; median age, 57 years). Within the cohort, 66% of individuals reported at least one nonadherent behavior. Higher medication adherence was associated with better HRQoL (P < .05). There was no association between medication adherence and the odds of health-care utilization, FVC % predicted, FEV1 % predicted, or diffusion capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide % predicted. Black participants reported lower medication adherence than white participants (P < .05).


      This is the first observational study of medication adherence in sarcoidosis. We found that higher medication adherence was associated with better HRQoL, with blacks more likely to report nonadherence. Medication adherence may be an important target to improve patient-reported outcomes and health disparities in sarcoidosis.

      Key Words


      CCI (Charlson Comorbidity Index), Dlco (diffusion capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide), HRQoL (health-related quality of life), KSQ (King’s Sarcoidosis Health Questionnaire), SGRQ (St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire)
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