Ten years incidence of natural rubber latex sensitization and symptoms in a prospective cohort of health care workers using non-powdered latex gloves 2000–2009
Objectives To assess the incidence of sensitization and gloves-related symptoms in 10-year follow-up in a group of health care workers (9,660 person-years) using non-powdered latex gloves from 2000 to 2009 and to examine related factors.
Materials and methods We studied 2,053 health care workers in Trieste Hospitals by means of skin prick test for latex extract, patch tests and medical examinations. We report the incidence of latex sensitization among workers using non-powdered latex gloves.
Results The incidence of latex sensitization, rhinitis, asthma, urticaria, irritant and allergic contact dermatitis were 1.0; 0.12; 0.21; 0.72; 2.39 and 2.50 cases per 1,000 person-years, respectively. Respiratory symptoms and urticaria were positively related with latex sensitization (OR = 8.0; 95 % CL 1.27–48.6), with common allergic respiratory symptoms (OR = 4.19; 95 % CL 1.04–16.8) and with familial atopy (OR = 4.47; 95 % CL 1.1–17.9).
Conclusion The incidence of latex sensitization and latex-related symptoms were very low but subjects with allergic symptoms related to common allergens are at higher risk. The use of non-latex gloves is suggested for them.