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Allergy to bee venom in beekeepers in Germany.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of bee venom allergy in German beekeepers, to explore risk factors for bee venom allergy in this group, and to determine which factors best predicted severe reactions.

METHODS

A questionnaire incorporating 2 instruments on beekeepers' physical and mental health and working practice was included in 3 German beekeeping journals. A reference group also completed the questionnaire. Simple descriptive methods, bivariate correlation, cross-tabulation, 1-way analysis of variance, and stepwise discriminant analysis were used to analyze data.

RESULTS

Altogether, 1053 questionnaires were returned. No significant differences were seen between the 2 groups. The mean number of bee stings annually was 57.8 (median, 30; range, 0-1000). Overall, 46 (4.4%) beekeepers reported systemic reactions to bee stings, 797 (75.6%) had mild local reactions, and 196 (18.6%) had no reactions. The study confirmed several risk factors. These were, in descending order of importance, symptoms of upper respiratory allergy while working on the hive, presence of other allergies, time spent as a beekeeper, and more severe nonallergic reactions to bee stings in springtime. These factors identified beekeepers at risk of allergic reactions to bee venom in 85.2% of cases. Our results also showed an association between allergy and emotional instability. Risk management in allergic beekeepers was not good.

CONCLUSION

The results of this study will help to identify beekeepers at risk of systemic reactions to bee stings and to inform them about the dangers of bee venom allergy.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital Giessen and Marburg, Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany. karsten.muenstedt@gyn.med.uni-giessen.de

    , ,

    Source

    MeSH

    Adolescent
    Adult
    Aged
    Aged, 80 and over
    Animals
    Bee Venoms
    Bees
    Child
    Child, Preschool
    Cohort Studies
    Female
    Germany
    Humans
    Hypersensitivity
    Insect Bites and Stings
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Occupational Diseases
    Occupational Exposure
    Risk Factors
    Surveys and Questionnaires
    Time Factors

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    18447138

    Citation

    Münstedt, K, et al. "Allergy to Bee Venom in Beekeepers in Germany." Journal of Investigational Allergology & Clinical Immunology, vol. 18, no. 2, 2008, pp. 100-5.
    Münstedt K, Hellner M, Winter D, et al. Allergy to bee venom in beekeepers in Germany. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2008;18(2):100-5.
    Münstedt, K., Hellner, M., Winter, D., & von Georgi, R. (2008). Allergy to bee venom in beekeepers in Germany. Journal of Investigational Allergology & Clinical Immunology, 18(2), pp. 100-5.
    Münstedt K, et al. Allergy to Bee Venom in Beekeepers in Germany. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2008;18(2):100-5. PubMed PMID: 18447138.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Allergy to bee venom in beekeepers in Germany. AU - Münstedt,K, AU - Hellner,M, AU - Winter,D, AU - von Georgi,R, PY - 2008/5/2/pubmed PY - 2008/9/6/medline PY - 2008/5/2/entrez SP - 100 EP - 5 JF - Journal of investigational allergology & clinical immunology JO - J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol VL - 18 IS - 2 N2 - OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of bee venom allergy in German beekeepers, to explore risk factors for bee venom allergy in this group, and to determine which factors best predicted severe reactions. METHODS: A questionnaire incorporating 2 instruments on beekeepers' physical and mental health and working practice was included in 3 German beekeeping journals. A reference group also completed the questionnaire. Simple descriptive methods, bivariate correlation, cross-tabulation, 1-way analysis of variance, and stepwise discriminant analysis were used to analyze data. RESULTS: Altogether, 1053 questionnaires were returned. No significant differences were seen between the 2 groups. The mean number of bee stings annually was 57.8 (median, 30; range, 0-1000). Overall, 46 (4.4%) beekeepers reported systemic reactions to bee stings, 797 (75.6%) had mild local reactions, and 196 (18.6%) had no reactions. The study confirmed several risk factors. These were, in descending order of importance, symptoms of upper respiratory allergy while working on the hive, presence of other allergies, time spent as a beekeeper, and more severe nonallergic reactions to bee stings in springtime. These factors identified beekeepers at risk of allergic reactions to bee venom in 85.2% of cases. Our results also showed an association between allergy and emotional instability. Risk management in allergic beekeepers was not good. CONCLUSION: The results of this study will help to identify beekeepers at risk of systemic reactions to bee stings and to inform them about the dangers of bee venom allergy. SN - 1018-9068 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/18447138/Allergy_to_bee_venom_in_beekeepers_in_Germany_ L2 - http://www.jiaci.org/issues/vol18issue2/vol18issue02-4.htm DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -