Prevalence of Type I Natural Rubber Latex Allergy Among Dental Hygienists
Authors: Hamann, Curtis P; Rodgers, Pamela A; Sullivan, Kim M
Source: Journal of Dental Hygiene, Number 2, Spring 1st April 2005 , pp. 7-7(1)
Publisher: American Dental Hygienists' Association
Abstract:Purpose. Oral health care professionals have been shown to be at risk for developing a type I allergy to natural rubber latex (NRL). The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of this allergy in dental hygienists. Methods. Participants attending the 2000-2002 American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) national meetings were screened for type I allergies to NRL using skin prick testing, symptom assessment, and health history. Participants were classified as positive for a type I NRL allergy based on their positive skin prick reactions to standardized NRL solutions. Risk factors and symptom assessments were based on a self-reported health history. Results. Of the 582 ADHA participants who completed the screening and health history questionnaire, 4.8% (n=28) screened positive for a type I allergy to NRL (SPT-positive). These SPT-positive participants were significantly more likely to report an allergy to cross-reacting foods, plants, molds, and pollens, and to report reactions to rubber products. Participants screened SPT-positive were also significantly more likely to report a history of hives and respiratory symptoms after contact with natural rubber. Conclusion. Based on skin prick testing, the prevalence of a type I allergy to NRL in dental hygienists appears similar to that reported for other oral health care professionals and is greater than the general population. Educating dental hygienists about type I NRL allergy may help reduce prevalence and improve its management.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2005-03-01