Abstract
Introduction: The allergic march describes the assumed course of allergic disease. This study aimed to describe the prevalence of allergic manifestations from infancy into school age and the relationship between early manifestations and allergic disease at school age.Methods: Data were obtained from a longitudinal study of children born in western Sweden. Parents answered questionnaires at 6 months and 1, 4.5 and 8 years of age. The response rate at 8 years was 80% of the questionnaires distributed (4,051/5,044).Results: Overall, onset and course of allergic diseases was in line with the assumed allergic march, see Figure.



The prevalence of any allergic disease was more common in infancy (26%) compared to preschool (15%) and school age (16%).In a stratified logistic regression analysis, an increased risk of allergic disease at school age was seen with increasing numbers of allergic manifestations in infancy, i.e. one manifestation adjusted OR 3.1 (2.5-3.8), two or more aOR 9.2 (6.7-13.2) compared with symptom free subjects. Of those with two or more allergic manifestations in infancy, 44 % were symptom-free at school age vs 71% of those with only one early manifestation and 89 % of those who were symptom free in infancy.Conclusion: Allergic disease at school age was related to the presence of allergic manifestations in infancy. However, 71% of children with only one early manifestation were symptom-free at school age.