September 7th, 2012

Kidney Stones Linked with Increased Risk of Other Kidney Problems


People with kidney stones may be more likely than people without kidney stones to develop other kidney problems such as end-stage renal disease. These results were published in the British Medical Journal.

Kidney stones are a common and painful problem. Stones develop when substances in the urine become concentrated and form a solid.

Not all kidney stones require treatment. Small stones are often able to pass through the urinary system on their own. Treatment will likely be required, however, if the stone is large, causing persistent pain or bleeding, obstructing the urinary tract, or linked with an infection.

To explore whether kidney stones are linked with other kidney problems, researchers collected health information about more than 3 million adults who lived inAlberta,Canada. Roughly 23,000 of these people had at least one kidney stone during the study period.

The kidney problems of interest were end-stage renal disease (total and permanent kidney failure); stage 3b-5 chronic kidney disease (moderate-to-severe reduction in kidney function or total kidney failure); and a persistent doubling of serum creatinine (a sign of poor kidney function).

  • People who had had a kidney stone were twice as likely to develop end-stage renal disease as people who had never had a kidney stone. People with a kidney stone were also at increased risk of new, stage 3b-5 chronic kidney disease and persistently elevated serum creatinine.
  • The link between kidney stones and other kidney problems appeared to be strongest for women and young people.
  • Although risk was increased among people with kidney stones, most people with kidney stones did not develop other kidney problems during the study.

The results of this study suggest that people with kidney stones may have an increased risk of developing other kidney problems. The study was not able to explore the reasons for this increased risk.

Reference: Alexander RT, Hemmelgarn BR, Wiebe N et al. Kidney stones and kidney function loss: a cohort study. BMJ. Early online publication August 30, 2012.

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Tags: News, Uncategorized, Urology