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Latex Glove–Related Symptoms Among Health Care Workers: A Self-Report Questionnaire-Based Survey

Boonchai, Waranya MD; Sirikudta, Wararat MD; Iamtharachai, Pacharee BEd; Kasemsarn, Pranee MD

doi: 10.1097/DER.0000000000000044

Background The use of latex gloves by health care workers (HCWs) can lead to multiple symptoms: eczema, contact urticaria, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, asthma, and anaphylaxis.

Objectives The objectives of this study were to reveal the prevalence of latex glove–related symptoms of HCWs at Siriraj Hospital and to determine risk factors associated with those symptoms associated with the use of latex gloves.

Methods Self-administered questionnaires were sent to 6880 HCWs who were working at Siriraj Hospital and using latex rubber gloves in their duty.

Results The questionnaire response rate was 65.8%. Of 4529 respondents, the male-to-female ratio was 1:8.6 and the mean age was 34.3 years. The majority of respondents were nurses (83%). The prevalence of glove-related symptoms among the HCWs is 13.3%. Glove-related cutaneous and noncutaneous symptoms were found in 11.3% and 5.9% of the respondents.

Conclusions The hospital housekeepers emerged as the job with the significantly higher prevalence rate of glove-related symptoms than that of the other job categories. Factors associated with glove-related cutaneous symptoms are frequency and duration of glove use, history of atopy, and history of allergy to fruit cross-reacting with latex. The quantity of glove use, history of atopy, and allergy to fruits cross-reacting with latex are risk factors for the occurrence of glove-related noncutaneous symptoms.

From the Contact Dermatitis Clinic, Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Address correspondence to Waranya Boonchai, MD, Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10700, Thailand. E-mail:

Supported by the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University.

Presented at the Annual Meeting of Dermatological Society of Thailand, March 2–4, 2011, and The 20th Annual Congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, October 20–24, 2011, Lisboa, Portugal.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

© 2014 American Contact Dermatitis Society
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