Background: The prevalence of allergic symptoms among veterinarians has not been studied adequately.
Methods: A questionnaire was sent to 2,000 California veterinarians; the return rate was 73% (N=1416).
Results: A history of either asthma, allergic rhinitis (AR), or atopic dermatitis (AD) was reported by 66% of respondents. AR was reported by 62%, asthma by 16%, and AD by 11%. Forty percent of the veterinarians reported animal related respiratory and/or skin symptoms. The most commonly reported causes of symptoms were cats and dogs. In multivariate logistic analysis, the significant risk factors for having adult asthma were the history of AR with the history of AD (OR 13.9), AR alone (OR 6.3), and asthma in childhood (OR 6.4).
Conclusions: The prevalence of asthma and other atopic symptoms was high in the studied population. Most veterinarians with respiratory or skin symptoms reported the symptoms as being related to specific animal contact.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.