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Little is known about how individuals with a predisposition for rosacea appear in childhood. This retrospective, matched control, longitudinal study examined the relationship between childhood stye and adult rosacea.The records of the Rochester Epidemiology Project were examined to identify patients who received care for stye or blepharitis between ages 2 and 17 years, and received care for any cause at age 40 years or older. Patients were matched by group to control subjects (1:2).Patients with stye during childhood (N = 201) had a higher prevalence of adult rosacea than did control subjects (5.5% vs 1.5%, P = .01). Patients who had other childhood eye conditions without stye (N = 504) were not at higher risk.The study population included few minority patients.The association between childhood stye and adult rosacea appears to be significant and should be examined further. Rosacea prevalence in adults may be lower (2.1%) than previously reported.