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Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia
On-line version ISSN 1806-4841
MONTALVAO, Leticia Nunes; PIRES, Mario Cezar and MELLO, João Ferreira de. Latex allergy in healthcare professionals in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil. An. Bras. Dermatol. [online]. 2008, vol.83, n.3, pp. 213-220. ISSN 1806-4841. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0365-05962008000300004.
BACKGROUND: Latex allergy is common among healthcare workers and leads to absence from work and withdraw from professional activities. There are few studies published in Brazil on this subject. In the general population the prevalence of allergy to latex is less than 2%, whereas in healthcare workers it may reach 30%. OBJECTIVE: To study the prevalence of latex allergy in healthcare workers at the Hospital do Servidor Público Estadual de São Paulo. METHODS: A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to healthcare professionals from any sector of the hospital who have contact with rubber gloves. Blood was drawn from those who referred symptoms, for analyses of serum antilatex IgE antibody by Immunocap assay. Percentages, tables and the chi-square test were used for statistical analysis. RESULTS: A total of 2349 questionnaires were distributed, and 1045 were answered. In that, 129 reported association between latex and allergy symptoms and 54 out of them agreed to blood collection for specific IgE determination. Specific antibody was demonstrated in tow cases, determining a prevalence of 3.7% of latex allergy. Gender, occupation, frequency of use of gloves, work sector and past history of atopy were related to greater prevalence of latex allergy. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of latex allergy found was 3.7%.
Keywords : Epidemiology; Hypersensitivity, immediate; Latex; Latex hypersensitivity.