The prevalence of latex-specific IgE antibodies among pediatric patients in a chronic care facility

Lynelle Granady, Vicki Jo Deutsch, Jose Mansueto, Barbara Schofield, Elena Elkin, Mary Dimaio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We conducted a study to determine the prevalence of natural rubber latex (latex) hypersensitivity among children living in a chronic care facility and to assess symptoms and demographic and medical risk factors for latex hypersensitivity. A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted on a population of 50 children with complex medical problems living in a chronic care facility. Latex hypersensitivity was determined by radioallergosorbent assay (RAST). Demographic and medical history data were collected from the medical chart. Twelve (24%) of the children in the cohort tested positive for latex-specific IgE antibodies. Six (50%) had a history of urticaria and all 12 had a history of wheezing. Both symptoms were significantly associated with the presence of latex-specific IgE antibodies by statistical analysis. In chi-square analyses, male sex and presence of a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt were significantly associated with latex hypersensitivity. Adjusted for covariates, the presence of a VP shunt increased the odds of a positive antilatex IgE test result by 3.8 (95% confidence interval: 1.4 to 10.1). The prevalence of latex hypersensitivity among children in chronic care facilities is substantially greater than in the general population. These children have multiple complex medical problems and appear to be at increased risk. Prospective long-term studies of children in all domiciles are required to further delineate factors contributing to latex hypersensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-20
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Asthma, Allergy and Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


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