Background: Occupational allergy has great impact on workers exposed to high molecular weight (HMW) allergens. The present study is aimed to develop and validate a generic diagnostic model for sensitization to HMW allergens, defined as positive IgE.
Methods: The model was developed in pooled data from Dutch laboratory animal (LA) workers and bakers using logistic regression analysis. Validity was assessed internally by bootstrapping procedure, and externally in British LA workers.
Results: The model included working hours/week, work-related symptoms, total IgE, and IgE to common allergen. Significant interactions between the type of work and the predictors resulted in different scores for LA workers and bakers. Internal and external validation showed that the model was satisfactorily calibrated and discriminated between workers at high and low risk of being sensitized.
Conclusions: It is possible to develop a generic model for sensitization to occupational HMW allergens. However, the weighing of predictors differs across specific work environments.