[Risk factors for allergy to honey-bee venom in Mexican beekeepers].Rev Alerg Mex 2013 Jul-Sep; 60(3):100-4RA
Allergy to Hymenoptera venom has a low prevalence in the general population, but in beekeepers could be as high as 42%. The exposure to bee sting confers an occupational allergic risk to beekeepers, causing them sensitization during the first years, which if continues for a long time may induce immune tolerance.
To know some risk factors of allergic reactions to honey-bee stings in a sample of beekeepers through a self-applied questionnaire.
A self-applied questionnaire was performed by beekeepers from the whole country, with questions about age, sex, time of beekeeping activities, average number of stings per month and types of post-sting reactions. The relative risk and the odds ratio were calculated for some risk factors.
A total of 1541 questionnaires were completed. The average age was 37 years. There were 1289 (84%) men and 252 women. The average time of exposure to honey-bee sting was 7.2 years, and the number of stings per month averaged 33. There was atopic family history in 14.5% of the beekeepers, and 20% of them had personal atopy. In 125 (8%) beekeepers there were local allergic reactions and in 32 (2%) there were systemic allergic reactions. The relative risk for allergy to honey-bee venom in whom had atopic family history was 3.9 (CI 1.7-9.2), in those with less than 4 stings per month was 3.2 (CI 1.12-9.33), in those with more than 20 years exposure was 0.97 (CI 0.95-0.98) and for those over 50 years of age was 0.32 (CI 0.1-0.8). Beekeepers with less than 10 years of exposure had OR of 4.33 (CI 0.5-33.9).
The risk factors observed for hypersentivity to honey-bee venom in beekeepers were: atopic family history, less than 10 years of exposure and less than 4 stings per month. As probable protective factors we found the exposure for over 20 years and persons older than 50 years of age.