Atopic March: Collegium Internationale Allergologicum Update 2020
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In recent decades, the worldwide prevalence of allergic disease has increased considerably. The atopic march is a model aimed at explaining the apparent progression of allergic diseases from atopic dermatitis (AD) to allergic asthma (AA) and to allergic rhinitis (AR). It hypothesizes that allergic disease begins, typically in children, with the development of AD, then AA, and finally progresses to AR. This theory has been widely studied in cross-sectional and long-term longitudinal studies and it has been found that as prevalence of AD declines, prevalence of AA increases. A similar relationship is reported between AA and AR. The legitimacy of the atopic march model is, however, currently debated. Epidemiological evidence and criticism of longitudinal studies point to an overstatement of the atopic march's prevalence and incorrect mechanisms, opening a discussion for alternative models to better explain the pathophysiological and epidemiological processes that promote this progression of allergic diseases. Albeit, risk factors for the development and progression of allergic disease, particularly AD, are critical in identifying disease progression. Investigating the role of age, severity, family history, phenotype, and genetic traits may give a better indication into the progression of allergic diseases. In addition, studies following patients from infancy into adulthood and a general increase in longitudinal studies would help broaden the knowledge of allergic disease progression and the atopic march.
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