BACKGROUND: Exposure to natural rubber latex (NRL) may lead to a variety of allergic clinical manifestations that may affect the quality of life (QOL).
AIM: To assess QOL of patients with different clinical effects of NRL allergy including rhino-conjunctivitis, asthma, anaphylaxis and skin manifestations.
METHOD: A questionnaire to assess QOL was mailed to 56 patients who had been assessed and managed for various clinical manifestations of latex allergy at a university affiliated hospital in Toronto, Canada.
RESULTS: Thirty-one questionnaires were completed and returned. Thirty of the respondents were health care workers. Forty-one percent of the respondents had changed their jobs to reduce exposure to latex and 13% had stopped working. However the respondents did not report a great effect on the QOL related to latex allergy.
CONCLUSION: The results of this study indicate that the various clinical manifestations of latex allergy can be managed so that there is no significant interference with QOL.