We are researching prevention of latex allergies (LA) in a Japanese undergraduate nursing program. From previous research, we found some nursing students have allergies to rubber products. We discuss the relationship of such allergies to daily use of rubber products, and the risk factor of LA from results of a survey of nursing students.
The purpose is to clarify the relationship of such allergies to everyday rubber products (gloves, rubber bands, headbands, balloons) and risk factor of LA to other allergies, LA-associated foods (e.g., kiwi, banana, celery) ,experience of operation, medical history of allergies in family, and self-prediction when donning latex gloves.
We performed a survey of 572 Japanese nursing university students. The data were analysed by Chi-square test or Fisher’s exact test using the statistical software package Stat Flex ver.6.0 for Windows. Ethical approval for this study was obtained from the Ethical Review Committee of Seinan Jo Gakuin University.
The response rate was 95.5% (N=546) and all response data was complete for analysis. All respondents were female students (average of age 19.1±1.5). Of these, 4.9% (27/546) had allergic reactions to rubber products (gloves, rubber bands, headbands, balloons). The prevalence of some allergy were 56.0%. Those with atopic disease and contact dermatitis were 14.5% (79/546) and 14.7% ( 80/546), respectively. This data showed allergic symptoms to rubber products were related to atopic disease (p<0.001), contact dermatitis (p<0.05), and self-prediction when donning latex gloves (p<0.001).
In the Japanese guidelines, one of the risk groups of LA had atopic dermatitis. A similar result was shown in these findings. This result suggested we should add atopic dermatitis as one criteria for screening LA.