Int Dent J. 2006 Jun;56(3):154-8.
Prevalence of hand dermatoses related to latex exposure amongst dentists in Queensland, Australia.
Leggat PA, Smith DR.
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.
PMID: 16826882 [PubMed - in process]