On Sunday, September 24th, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s Krayzie Bone, whose real name is Anthony Henderson, was hospitalized and battling a “life-threatening” condition. According to All Hip Hop, the Cleveland native is now fighting for his life after checking into a Los Angeles-based hospital due to coughing up large amounts of blood. Henderson reportedly suffers from sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease in which the immune system overreacts, causing groups of cells to form clusters of inflamed tissue called ‘granulomas’ in one or more body organs. He received a CAT scan that revealed his lungs contained a leaking artery. Doctors reportedly launched an emergency surgery, but the attempt was unsuccessful.
Since the news broke, his groupmate Bizzy Bone has reposted several “Pray for Krayzie Bone” supportive comments on his Instagram stories, including ones from celebrities like Lebron James, as he also reacted to the news on social media. Sharing his message on X, formerly known as Twitter, the NBA champion captioned a photo of Krayzie Bone with several praying hands emojis with the message “to Krayzie man!!!!”
Even though Henderson is receiving an outpouring of love and support from the public, family, and friends, many are wondering what this rare disease is all about in the first place, and others are instantly transported to 2008 when revered Chicago comedian Bernie Mac suffered from sarcoidosis and died from complications of the disease.
Here’s what you need to know:
Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease in which the immune system overreacts, causing groups of cells to form clusters of inflamed tissue called “granulomas” in one or more body organs. Sarcoidosis most commonly affects the lungs and lymph nodes but can affect any organ, including the eyes, skin, heart, and nervous system. In severe cases, sarcoidosis can be life-threatening if it progresses to heart or severe lung disease.
Sarcoidosis is a rare disease with 150,000-200,000 cases in the United States per year and approximately 27,000 new cases per year.
Black women are three times more likely to be diagnosed with sarcoidosis than White women, tend to have more severe disease, are more likely to be hospitalized, and have a higher mortality rate.
Severe fatigue can impact up to 70% of patients with sarcoidosis, even when inflammation is controlled with medication.
Here’s How The Disease Affects Your Body
While sarcoidosis’s causes are unknown, it is associated with increased immune system activity. This causes clusters of immune cells called granulomas to infiltrate your organs and lymph nodes. Sarcoidosis most commonly affects your lungs and lymph nodes but can affect any organ in your body. The symptoms of sarcoidosis vary depending on which organs the disease affects.
According to the American Lung Association, Sarcoidosis in the lungs is often separated into the “Scadding stages” based on the chest X-ray. There are five Scadding stages, Stage 0 through Stage 4. The stages use the location of the granulomas in the lungs and lymph nodes to predict the chance of the disease resolving on its own, with lower stages being more likely to resolve or not need treatment. At each stage, you can have serious symptoms. You also can move between the stages of sarcoidosis, as patients of any Scadding stage can have involvement of other organs from sarcoidosis.
Who’s At Risk?
Although the causes of sarcoidosis are unknown, it has a genetic and an environmental component. Risk factors for sarcoidosis include:
- Living or working near insecticides, dusty or moldy environments
- If you are of African or Scandinavian descent
- It is more common in women
- If you are between 30 and 50 years of age
- Family history or genetics
- Medications for other health issues can increase your risk, such as those taken to manage HIV and treat cancer.
- Some other medical conditions, such as lymphoma, can increase your risk
- Exposure to burn pits during military deployments