Latex Allergy: Risk Factors Make an Appointment Refer a Patient Ask a Question Reviewed by Karin A. Pacheco, MD, MSPH (January 01, 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: Allergy-induced asthma Eczema (atopic dermatitis) Hives (chronic urticaria) Food allergies People who have experienced a reaction after eating banana, kiwi, avocado, potato, strawberries, peaches or chestnuts may also have increased risk for latex allergy. Latex Allergy: Symptoms Latex Allergy: Treatment Clinical Trials For more than 100 years, National Jewish Health has been committed to finding new treatments and cures for diseases. Search our clinical trials.