Mac's Illness Spotlights Sarcoidosis

Immune disorder could be behind comedian's hospitalization
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2008 2:56 PM CDT
Bernie Mac is shown in this, March 6, 2004, file photo in Universal City, Calif. Bernie Mac is in a Chicago hospital with pneumonia. His publicist, Danica Smith, says in a statement that the 50-year-old...   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, file)
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(Newser) – Bernie Mac is in the hospital, and although his publicists deny it, the pneumonia for which the comedian's being treated may have something to do with sarcoidosis, the Chicago Tribune reports. The rare immune system disorder has been in remission since 2005.

The disorder is characterized by an excessive inflammatory response to environmental contaminants such as pollen. Bouts of sarcoidosis can impair breathing, scarring the lungs in the worst cases. The inflammation can also damage the eyes and lymph nodes in the chest and neck.