Romano C, Sulotto F, Piolatto G et al, Factors related to the development of sensitisation to green coffee and castor bean allergens among coffee workers, Clin Exp Allergy, 1995;25:643-650,

BOHRF Original Authors' Main Conclusions

The original authors' main conclusions are taken from Abstract, Results and Discussion. They are decided upon by the authors of the BOHRF occupational asthma guidelines and form part of the guidelines.

Study aimed to assess the prevalence of allergic respiratory symptoms and of sensitisation to both green coffee beans and castor bean in the whole workforce of a coffee manufacturing plant, and to consider the effect of smoking and atopy. A questionnaire on oculo-rhinitis and asthma was administered and skin-prick tests for green coffee beans, castor bean and 15 common inhalant allergens were carried out on 211 workers. 10% of workers complained of oculo-rhinitis alone and 16% of asthma (nearly always associated with oculo-rhinitis). Evidence of sensitisation to occupational allergens was more common in smokers, with a more than twofold increase in relative risk. The strong association between skin positivity to common and occupational allergens suggests that atopy acts as an enhancing host factor towards occupational sensitisation. Authors concluded that findings indicated that castor bean is the major cause of occupational sensitisation among coffee workers, whereas smoking and atopy act as enhancing factors.

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