Career advice for young people with allergy


About 33% of teenagers aged between 14 – 17 years suffer from at least one atopic disease, such as allergy or asthma. When they get older and enter work environment, their history of atopic disease may affect their work safety and performance.

To help these people develop a better career, a group of German researchers conducted a systematic review about past research of allergy. Based on the review, they provided important career advice. The paper is published in Deutsches Arzteblatt International.

Scientists searched published studies from a public database PubMed and included 24 studies in their study. These studies examined the new onset of asthma, rhinitis, or hand eczema among job trainees from before the start of training to the first few years on the job.

According to the previous findings, atopy and a history of allergic disease (allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis) are the main risk factors for job-induced disease. Researchers suggest several things to prevent the negative impact of these factors:

  • Reducing exposure is a key step to prevent job-related allergy and asthma.
  • People with severe asthma should not choose a job associated with a high risk of allergy, such as hairdressing or working with laboratory animals.
  • People who are already sensitized to an allergen related to their work should try to avoid the allergen or stop performing such work.
  • Young people with an allergy history or other atopic diseases should be counseled about their individual risk profile. In addition, they should be monitored closely (every 6 months to 1 year) for their first 2 years of work.
  • Young people who have a history of allergies should receive skin prick tests for general and job-specific allergens, spirometry, and unspecific bronchial challenge tests.

Citation: Radon K, et al. (2016). Career Advice for Young Allergy Patients: A Systematic Review. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, 113: 519-524. doi:10.3238/arztebl.2016.0519.
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