Background and Purpose: Latex allergy is a serious occupational health problem among medical workers, but there are few data regarding its incidence and clinical characteristics in Taiwan. No data on the latex-fruit syndrome in Taiwan have been reported. This study investigated the prevalence of both latex allergy and latex-fruit syndrome, and risk factors for the development of latex allergy among medical workers. Methods: A total 302 medical workers who had daily contact with latex gloves during work at three hospitals in central Taiwan were interviewed and screened by questionnaire to detect allergic reactions to latex. Those with a history of immediate allergic reaction to latex gloves were screened for specific IgE antibodies against latex. Subjects whose screening results were positive were considered to have immediate latex allergy. Latex-fruit syndrome was defined as a clinical condition that manisfested as immediate allergic reactions to both latex and fruit. Results: Twenty-six (8.6%) medical workers had immediate allergic reactions to latex. The severity of latex allergy was correlated to the serum level of latex-specific IgE. Seven subjects with latex allergy (26.9%) had latex-fruit syndrome. Risk factors for development of latex allergy among medical workers were latex glove-related hand dermatitis, fruit allergy, preexisting atopic disease, hospital employment for more than 2 years, and total exposure to latex gloves of more than 9,000 hours. Conclusion: Latex allergy is an underrecognized occupational health problem in Taiwan. Early identification of medical workers at high risk is important so that they can be advised to use non-latex, gloves as early as possible to prevent further sensitization to latex proteins.
|頁（從 - 到）||622-626|
|期刊||Journal of the Formosan Medical Association|
|出版狀態||Published - 1 9月 2002|