Sarcoidosis may have an infectious trigger, including Mycobacterium spp. The Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine provides partial protection against tuberculosis and induces trained immunity. We examined the incidence rate (IR) of sarcoidosis in Danish individuals born during high BCG vaccine uptake (born before 1976) compared with individuals born during low BCG vaccine uptake (born in or after 1976).We performed a quasi-randomized registry-based incidence study using data from the Danish Civil Registration System and the Danish National Patient Registry between 1995 and 2016. We included individuals aged 25-35 years old and born between 1970 and 1981. Using Poisson regression models, we calculated the incidence rate ratio (IRR) of sarcoidosis in individuals born during low BCG vaccine uptake versus high BCG vaccine uptake, adjusting for age and calendar year (separately for men and women).The IR of sarcoidosis was increased for individuals born during low BCG vaccine uptake compared with individuals born during high BCG vaccine uptake, which was largely attributed to men. The IRR of sarcoidosis for men born during low BCG vaccine uptake versus high BCG vaccine uptake was 1.22 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02-1.45). In women, the IRR was 1.08 (95% CI 0.88-1.31).In this quasi-experimental study that minimizes confounding, the time period with high BCG vaccine uptake was associated with a lower incidence rate of sarcoidosis in men, with a similar effect seen in women that did not reach significance. Our findings support a potential protective effect of BCG vaccination against the development of sarcoidosis. Future interventional studies for high-risk individuals could be considered.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2023.152205
View details for PubMedID 37054583