Prevalence of hand dermatoses related to latex exposure amongst dentists in Queensland, Australia

Leggat, Peter A., and Smith, Derek R. (2006) Prevalence of hand dermatoses related to latex exposure amongst dentists in Queensland, Australia. International Dental Journal, 56 (3). pp. 154-158.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the epidemiology of hand dermatoses symptoms and allergies, particularly those that suggested possible latex allergy.

METHODS: In 2004, a self-reporting questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of 400 dentists from the Queensland Branch of the Australian Dental Association.

RESULTS: A total of 285 questionnaires (73.1%) were completed and returned. Of the respondents, 73.3% were male and 26.7% female, with a mean age of 45.2 years (SD = 11.9 years) of whom 89.1% were general dentists, the remainder being specialists. Almost one third (29.1%) had experienced symptoms of hand dermatoses at some stage during the previous 12 months, with 15.1% experiencing symptoms during the previous three weeks. The most common symptom or sign was dry and cracked hands or fingers (22.5%). Only 2.1% of dentists had been medically diagnosed with latex allergy. The most common symptom or sign following the use of latex products was dermatitis (11.2%).

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, this study showed that occupational dermatoses constitute a major occupational health problem among dentists in Queensland, Australia. Symptoms appear to be reported at a similar prevalence to other studies in developed countries. The identification of atopic dermatitis as a significant risk factor again stresses the importance of allergic disease and its relationship with occupational skin conditions. Although reducing exposure to potential allergens and irritants is an important minimisation strategy, further research is needed to identify occupational and non-occupational factors associated with occupational dermatoses in dental personnel.

Item ID: 3935
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: occupational health; dentists; dermatitis; Australia occupational dermatitis; Queensland; latex allergy; contact dermatitis; dental materials dental materials, dermatoses, irritants, allergens
ISSN: 1875-595X
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2009 03:47
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111706 Epidemiology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 11
Downloads: Total: 2
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