Background: Rubber latex hypersensitivity is an important concern for health care workers. Purpose: The Center for Devices and Radiological Health, in collaboration with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, conducted a multicenter study of the prevalence of latex-specific IgE antibodies among United States hospital personnel. Materials and Methods: Nine hospitals participated in the cross-sectional study. A total of 504 hospital personnel completed questionnaires that provided an array of demographic, occupational, and clinical information, including a history, if any, of allergies and the use of latex and nonlatex gloves. More than three-quarters (76.5%) of the participants were tested for total IgE and latex specific IgE. Results: A total of 21 (5.5%, 95% CI = 3%-7%) of the tested participants were positive for the presence of latex specific IgE antibodies, defined as a latex IgE level of ≥0.6 ng/mL. Latex specific IgE antibodies were more prevalent in participants who reported tachycardia, palpitations, flushing, or wheezing associated with latex gloves (Odds Ratio = 10.2, 95% CI = 3.7-28.6). Conclusion: The study's results suggest that the prevalence of latex-specific IgE antibodies among hospital personnel is appreciable and these personnel and their health care providers should be aware of this entity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine