The numbers of people suffering from kidney stones in the USA have increased in line with the rise in obesity. Researchers have been surprised by the rate of the increase in kidney stone prevalence and have written a paper on “The Prevalence of Kidney Stones” which will be published in European Urology.
The study looked at over 12,000 people in the USA between 2007–2010 and found that one in every eleven people experienced kidney stones, this number being much greater than the 1994 rate of one in twenty. Through looking at other illnesses or health conditions that the patients experienced, the researchers found a correlation between kidney stones and obesity, diabetes and gout, all of which were found to increase the incidence of the stones. Dr Christopher S. Saigal, senior author of the study, wrote that “People should consider the increased risk of kidney stones as another reason to maintain a healthy lifestyle and body weight.”
Currently, treatments for kidney stones focus on treating the stones themselves, but the authors suggest that an emphasis should be placed on prevention and helping patients to maintain a healthy body weight in order to decrease the incidence of kidney stones. Rather than focusing on treatments once patients are already suffering from the stones, the authors believe that healthcare professionals should concentrate on the risk factors.