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This information was reviewed and approved by Karin A. Pacheco, MD, MSPH (1/1/2012).

Genetics and the environment both play a role in developing a latex allergy. There are groups of people who are more likely to develop a latex allergy than others.

High Exposure to Latex

Since the amount of exposure to latex is a key factor in developing a latex allergy, healthcare workers and patients (especially children) who undergo multiple surgeries are at risk. Children with spina bifida are the most likely group to develop a latex allergy, in part because their exposures are more likely to be mucosal, e.g. through latex catheters and tubing.

Genetic Links to Allergies

There is a genetic link to allergies. Therefore, people are at an increased risk for developing an allergy to latex if they have other allergic conditions such as these:

People who have experienced a reaction after eating banana, kiwi, avocado, potato, strawberries, peaches or chestnuts may also have increased risk for latex allergy.

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