Background: Natural rubber latex allergy is a potentially life-threatening, Type I, immediate allergic reaction. Despite great strides in identification of high-risk groups, methods for diagnosis remain limited in the United States. Objective: The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of evaluation for latex allergy and methodologies used by allergists in the United States. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of all US Fellows of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology was conducted. Results: Of 1,239 questionnaires mailed, 519 (42%) were returned. Ninety-five percent of responding allergists reported evaluating patients for latex allergy. RAST and skin prick testing were the most commonly used tests. Sixty-two percent of respondents reported performing prick testing for latex allergy, with those in academic practices significantly more likely to do so. Whereas respondents practicing in the Northern United States were significantly more likely to evaluate for latex allergy than those in the Southern United States, no associations were found between practice location and prick testing for latex allergy. There was no association between practice type and evaluation for latex allergy. Only 6% of allergists reported ever witnessing a patient with anaphylaxis during latex allergy testing. Conclusions: Almost all responding allergists evaluated patients for latex allergy, with approximately two thirds utilizing prick testing.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
From the University of Minnesota Medical School; The Department of Dermatology, University of Minnesota; Minneapolis VA Medical Center; and the Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research, Minneapolis VA Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN. This study was supported by the Minneapolis VA Medical Center and VA Health Services Research. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Reprints not available. Copyright 2002, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. 1046-199X/02/1304-0006$35.00/0 doi:10.1053/ajcd.2002.36636
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