Revista médica de Chile
versão impressa ISSN 0034-9887
GUZMAN M, M Antonieta et al. Prevalence of latex hypersensitivity in operating room workers of the University of Chile Clinical Hospital. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2005, vol.133, n.5, pp. 535-540. ISSN 0034-9887. doi: 10.4067/S0034-98872005000500004.
Background: Health care workers (HCW) are a high risk group for developing natural rubber latex (NRL) hypersensitivity and allergy. Some studies showed a correlation between time and frequency of exposure to NRL gloves and hypersensitivity, but a recent meta-analysis showed no clear evidences for such assumption. Aim: To determine the prevalence of NRL hypersensitivity and allergy in a group of HCW at the University of Chile Clinical Hospital. Materials and Methods: Ninety five HCW (aged 37±10 years, 59 females) were interviewed about time of exposure, atopic diseases and latex-related allergy symptoms. Different NRL extracts and seven NRL gloves brands were tested by the prick test method. Results: Twenty four workers (25%, 95% CI = 16.9%-35.2%) were sensitized. No gender differences were found. No symptomatic cases were found in the sensitized group. In the workplace, six and two non sensitized subjects had respiratory symptoms or contact urticaria, respectively. Sensitivity to bananas, avocadoes, kiwi and chestnut was not significantly more common among latex sensitive individuals. No differences between sensitized and non sensitized subjects were observed for the presence of atopic diseases or the mean number of years at the workplace. The sensitization rate to NRL increased along with years of work, from 18.6% in patients working less than 10 years, to 28.1% in the group between 10 and 20 years and to 35% in those working more than 21 years (p=0.693). Sensitization was also related to the weekly hours of exposure: 1-10 hours, 17%; 11-20 hours, 23.5%; 21-30 hours, 50% and 31-40 hours, 28.5% (p=0.036). Conclusions: Sensitization increased proportionally to the years and weekly hours wearing NLR gloves. We did not find symptomatic patients in the sensitized group
Palavras-chave : Environmental illness; Latex hypersensitivity; Multiple chemical sensitivity.