Will a warmer climate mean more kidney stones?

July 10, 2014
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.

Explore further: Study says exercise cuts kidney stone risk in women

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.

Related Stories

Study says exercise cuts kidney stone risk in women

May 3, 2013
Exercise has another benefit: A new study finds that being active may help prevent kidney stones in women.

History of kidney stones may indicate risk for stroke and heart attack

March 3, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—A new study from University of Alberta researchers suggests that patients, particularly women, with a history of kidney stones may be at a higher risk for stroke and heart attack.

Kidney stones linked with small increased risk of later kidney problems

August 30, 2012
Kidney stones are associated with a small but significant increased risk of developing more serious kidney problems later in life, suggests a study published in the British Medical Journal today.

More effective kidney stone treatment, from the macroscopic to the nanoscale

April 17, 2014
Researchers in France have hit on a novel method to help kidney stone sufferers ensure they receive the correct and most effective treatment possible.

Vitamin C supplements linked to kidney stones

February 4, 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 ...

Diet and physical activity may affect one's risk of developing kidney stones

December 12, 2013
Even small amounts of physical activity may decrease the risk of developing kidney stones, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). The study also found ...

Recommended for you

New study offers insights on genetic indicators of COPD risk

January 16, 2018
Researchers have discovered that genetic variations in the anatomy of the lungs could serve as indicators to help identify people who have low, but stable, lung function early in life, and those who are particularly at risk ...

Previous influenza virus exposures enhance susceptibility in another influenza pandemic

January 16, 2018
While past exposure to influenza A viruses often builds immunity to similar, and sometimes different, strains of the virus, Canadian researchers are calling for more attention to exceptions to that rule.

Don't hold your nose and close your mouth when you sneeze, doctors warn

January 15, 2018
Pinching your nose while clamping your mouth shut to contain a forceful sneeze isn't a good idea, warn doctors in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

New antifungal provides hope in fight against superbugs

January 12, 2018
Microscopic yeast have been wreaking havoc in hospitals around the world—creeping into catheters, ventilator tubes, and IV lines—and causing deadly invasive infection. One culprit species, Candida auris, is resistant ...

Dengue takes low and slow approach to replication

January 11, 2018
A new study reveals how dengue virus manages to reproduce itself in an infected person without triggering the body's normal defenses. Duke researchers report that dengue pulls off this hoax by co-opting a specialized structure ...

Different strains of same bacteria trigger widely varying immune responses

January 11, 2018
Genetic differences between different strains of the same pathogenic bacterial species appear to result in widely varying immune system responses, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens.

1 comment

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.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.