Prevalence of latex-specific IgE antibodies in hospital personnel

Ronald G. Kaczmarek, Barbara G. Silverman, Thomas P. Gross, Robert G. Hamilton, Eileen Kessler, J. Thomas Arrowsmith-Lowe, Roscoe M. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-56
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Volume76
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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  • Cite this

    Kaczmarek, R. G., Silverman, B. G., Gross, T. P., Hamilton, R. G., Kessler, E., Arrowsmith-Lowe, J. T., & Moore, R. M. (1996). Prevalence of latex-specific IgE antibodies in hospital personnel. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 76(1), 51-56. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1081-1206(10)63406-0