Will a warmer climate mean more kidney stones?

Will a warmer climate mean more kidney stones?
U.S. study finds rates of these painful blockages are rising along with temperatures.

(HealthDay)—Add another possible woe to the growing list of consequences of climate change: Kidney stones.

A new study of American cities suggests that rising temperatures may increase the number of people who develop the painful urinary obstructions.

"These findings point to potential public health effects associated with global ," study leader Dr. Gregory Tasian, a pediatric urologist and epidemiologist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said in a hospital news release.

His team examined the medical records of more than 60,000 adults and children who were diagnosed with kidney stones between 2005 and 2011, and compared that information with daily data.

The patients lived in cities with various types of climates: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

As average annual daily temperatures rose above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the risk of people developing kidney stones within 20 days increased in all cities except Los Angeles. Rates of diagnoses also tended to peak within three days of hot weather.

"Although 11 percent of the U.S. population has had kidney stones, most people have not," Tasian noted. However, he believes that "it is likely that higher temperatures increase the risk of kidney stones in those people predisposed to stone formation."

That's because warmer temperatures contribute to dehydration, which results in a higher concentration of calcium and other minerals in the urine that can spur kidney stones, Tasian explained.

"Kidney stone prevalence has already been on the rise over the last 30 years, and we can expect this trend to continue, both in greater numbers and over a broader geographic area, as daily temperatures increase," Tasian said.

The study uncovered a connection between higher temperatures and risk of kidney stones, but didn't prove cause-and-effect. It was published July 9 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

More information: The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about kidney stones.

Taisan GE et al, "Daily Mean Temperature and Clinical Kidney Stone Presentation in Five U.S. Metropolitan Areas: A Time Series Analysis," Environmental Health Perspectives, published July 10, 2014.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Vitamin C supplements linked to kidney stones

Feb 04, 2013

New research from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows that men who take vitamin C supplements regularly run a higher risk of developing kidney stones. The study, which is published in the scientific periodical JAMA Internal Me ...

Recommended for you

Obama addresses West Africans on facts about Ebola

9 hours ago

President Barack Obama urged West Africans on Tuesday to wear gloves and masks when caring for Ebola patients or burying anyone who died of the disease. He also discouraged the traditional burial practice ...

Gluten-free diet benefits asymptomatic EmA+ adults

9 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Asymptomatic individuals with endomysial antibodies (EmA) benefit from a gluten-free diet (GFD), according to a study published in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

Another US health worker infected with Ebola

10 hours ago

A third American health worker has tested positive for the Ebola virus while working with patients in West Africa, the Christian missionary group SIM said Tuesday.

UN implores all countries to help on Ebola

12 hours ago

The international group Doctor Without Borders warned Tuesday that the world is 'losing the battle' against Ebola, while U.N. officials implored all countries to quickly step up their response by contributing health experts ...

Travel restrictions could worsen Ebola crisis: experts

16 hours ago

Travel restrictions could worsen West Africa's Ebola epidemic, limiting medical and food supplies and keeping out much-needed doctors, virologists said Tuesday as the disease continued its deadly spread.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

freethinking
1 / 5 (1) Jul 10, 2014
Stupid research alert..... the USA has been cooling for the last 14 years. But hey why let facts ruin a good grab for money.