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The prevalence of allergic diseases among health care workers (HCW) in the South of Russia

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2004.01.659
  • Tuesday
  • Medicine


Abstract Rationale The prevalence of allergic diseases among HCW may be influenced by unique occupational exposures. Methods A questionnaire was completed by 430 HCW: 240 physicians (47.4%) and 226 nurses (52.6%) from five regions of Krasnodar and Volgograd, average age 42 ± 5.0 years. Results The prevalence of allergic diseases by history was 44.1% (49.5% in physicians, 39.3% in nurses). Asthma was present in 4.9%, seasonal allergic rhinitis in 12%, perennial allergic rhinitis in 12.5%, urticaria in 13.4%, angioedema in 5.8%, atopic dermatitis in 7.9% and drug allergy in 14.9%, the latter noted in 20.5% of physicians and in 15.4% of nurses. A clinical history of allergy to house dust was noted in 19.1%, to pillow feathers in 8.4%, to cat in 5.8%, to dog in 3.7%, to tree pollen in 13.1%, to grass pollen in 8.4%, to ragweed pollen in 8.4% and to food in 25.7%. 20% of those studied revealed the first symptoms of allergic disease after they had started working, the prevalence depending on the length of work experience: 6.7% of HCW manifested allergic disease one year after the start of work, whereas 47% required 7 or more years before allergic disease was apparent. Conclusions The prevalence of asthma and allergic rhinitis among HCW did not differ from the general population, while the prevalence of drug allergy in health care workers was greater, suggesting that HCW may develop more drug allergy due to different patterns of allergen exposure than in the general population.

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