Occupational Asthma Reference

Smedley J, Jury A, Bendall H, Frew A, Coggon D, The prevalence and risk factors for latex allergy: a cross-sectional study in a UK hospital, Occup Environ Med, 1999;56:833-836,

Keywords: latex, health-care worker, prock test, prevalence, urticaria,

Known Authors

David Coggon, Southampton University David Coggon

Julia Smedley, Southampton University Hospital Julia Smedley

Tony Frew, Brighton Tony Frew

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence and risk factors for symptoms related to gloves, and the relation between symptoms and immunological evidence of type 1 hypersensitivity to latex in a United Kingdom health care setting.
METHODS: A cross sectional survey was carried out among 773 employees at a British hospital. A self administered questionnaire was used to collect information about symptoms related to gloves and associated risk factors in a sample of hospital staff who were likely to use gloves at work. All of those who reported symptoms suggestive of type 1 hypersensitivity were invited for skin prick testing and measurement of specific IgE to latex (RAST).
RESULTS: Among the 372 responders, symptoms related to gloves were common, 49% reported redness or itching of the hands, 14% reported urticaria, and 6% reported chest tightness. However, the frequency of positive skin prick tests and RASTs was surprisingly low (only two subjects tested positive).
CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate the need for caution in the interpretation of symptoms related to gloves even when they seem to suggest type 1 hypersensitivity.

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