Atopy and Risk Factors for Latex Sensitization in a Selected Population
Abstract:The value of recommending latex allergy screening in allergy departments of the Army's Hospital was studied. The purpose of the study was to evaluate whether atopy was a risk factor for latex sensitization in a specific population such as the young male soldiers of the Italian Army. The study was also aimed to assess the role of other risk factors. One thousand five hundred male subjects (1000 subjects who were atopic and 500 subjects who were nonatopic), visiting the Department of Allergology and Respiratory Physiopathology of the Army's Hospital in Bari, Italy, were enrolled into the study. The protocol included a questionnaire (symptoms of atopy, use of latex gloves and condoms and possible reactions previous surgical procedures), a clinical examination, a skin-prick test to latex and common allergens to evaluate atopy, and in part a latex challenge. Among the 1000 subjects who were atopic, 2.8% had evidence for sensitization to latex compared with 1.2% in the 500 subjects in the nonatopic group. The risk of latex sensitization was 19 times higher for subjects with a history of reactions to latex exposure and had a twofold increase for each surgical procedure and for each skin test positivity for inhalant allergens. Another risk factor was positivity to skin-prick tests for Artemisia vulgaris , cypress, and molds. Atopy significantly relates to an increased risk of latex sensitization. Screening is recommended in the Army's Hospital to identify latex-sensitized subjects and inform them about the risks connected with this condition.
Document Type: Original Article
Publication date: 2003-05-01
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