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Latex glove allergy in dental workers: complications and predisposing factors

Author(s): Rezaee M | Ghasemi M | Joneidi Jafari N

Journal: Tehran University Medical Journal
ISSN 1683-1764

Volume: 65;
Issue: Sup 1;
Start page: 42;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Dental | worker | glove

Background: Dermal- respiratory reactions to latex glove is a common problem and sometimes life threatening. Among health care workers, dental working personnel have extensive use of latex gloves. A few numbers of researches have been done in Iran about prevalence of these reactions but there is no comprehensive study for dental workers. The purpose of this study was to evaluate reactions to latex gloves amongst dental workers in military dental health centers.Methods: In this cross-sectional descriptive survey, dental workers with a minimum of three months length of employment and most often use of latex gloves were asked to fill standard questionnaire (derived from South Carolina Medical University) regarding latex related clinical manifestation and personal medical history and predisposing factors Data analysis was done by χ2 and Student's t test.Results: In our study 330 personnel were assessed. The mean age and length of employment was 31.6 and 8 years respectively. The most occupation was dentistry. A total of 232 subjects (70.3%) reported latex gloves-allergic symptoms. 72 (21.8%) of persons have history of atopy and food allergy was seen in 114 (34.5%). 63 (19.1%) of subjects reported history of hand dermatitis. All of these predisposing factors had positive regression with dermal and respiratory reactions.Conclusion: In this survey the prevalence of allergic reactions was higher than similar studies which may be due to type of gloves, lack of preemployment assessments and other factors. Use of diagnostic methods such as serologic measures, SPT and pulmonary function testing (such as spirogram) could be considered as tools for confirmatory and differential diagnosis and important complementary for these studies. Because of relationship between allergic reactions to latex gloves and some medical histories, it seems to be necessary for preemployment evaluation and periodic health surveillance of dental workers.
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