Navigation Links
Global Warming Linked to Heightened Kidney Stone Risk

Study predicts up to 2.2 million additional cases in U.S. by 2050

MONDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- Rising temperatures and increased dehydration linked to global warming will boost kidney stone rates in the United States and around the world, new research suggests.

In the United States in particular, hotter weather will lead to a dramatic rise in kidney stone disease among residents of southern states -- the so-called "kidney-stone belt." This will result in an increase of 1.6 million to 2.2 million additional kidney stone cases by 2050, according to the study.

"This is an example of how global warming will affect people directly," said study author Tom Brikowski, an associate professor with a specialty in hydrology in the department of geosciences at the University of Texas at Dallas.

The study authors stressed that the exact degree of the increased risk remains unclear. But, Brikowski added, "We are certain that warming will increase, and that the rate of kidney stone disease will go up. So as a nation, we will have to pay more attention to this problem."

The findings are reported in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Brikowski and his colleagues said the "kidney-stone belt" currently includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. But with global warming, the risk of kidney stone disease could ultimately touch a much wider swath of states, stretching from Kentucky all the way to northern California, the researchers said.

According to the U.S. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse, about 5 percent of Americans develop kidney stones at some point, with the risk rising as men and women enter their 40s and 50s, respectively.

Typically composed of calcium and other minerals found in urine, a kidney stone is a hard, crystallized mass that passes -- often painfully -- through the urinary tract. Drinking too little fluid and/or dehydration can lead to development of a stone, as can a metabolic predisposition for kidney stone disease, known as nephrolithiasis.

To gauge the potential impact of global warming on kidney stone risk, the researchers analyzed two prior kidney stone studies that had plotted disease incidence by U.S. geographic regions, along with federal reports assessing global warming patterns. The researchers then developed two mathematical models to compute all the information. Both models predicted that the current "kidney-stone belt" would expand and that overall incidence will rise.

However, while one model suggested that most of the rise in cases will be concentrated in the southern half of the United States, while the other model identified the upper Midwest region as the future problem area.

The study concluded that, in either case, the increase in kidney stone cases could boost health-care costs by as much as $1 billion.

"And this problem is not just confined to the U.S.," said Brikowski. "This will also touch southern Europe, southeastern Europe, and southeast Asia. And because in that last area treatment options are more limited, countries in that region will certainly experience a much more severe impact on health."

Kristina Penniston, a registered dietician and associate scientist in the department of urology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, called the new research "illuminating and provocative."

"It does seem entirely plausible that incidence [of kidney stones] will increase with global warming, primarily because one of the driving forces of incidence is hydration, and with global warming people will tend to be less well hydrated," she said.

"I'm also interested," Penniston added, "in how global warming will impact the diet of people, because there are also many nutritional factors related to kidney stones. And climate change affects the nutrient composition of the plants that we grow and the animals that we eat. For example, fruits and vegetables are inhibitors of stones. So the question then is, will people be eating less of that as temperatures rise because these things don't grow as abundantly? And will that then alter people's risk for stones? These are some of the important issues that this study raises."

More information

For additional information on kidney stones, visit the U.S. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse.

SOURCES: Tom Brikowski, Ph.D., associate professor, hydrology specialty, department of geosciences, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas; Kristina Penniston, Ph.D., R.D., associate scientist, department of urology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison; July 14-18, 2008, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Study: Global Business Performance Significantly Improved Through Project Management
2. Putting Health Before Politics: How the United States Senate Can Fix Global HIV/AIDS Funding
3. Amway Global to be Presenting Sponsor of Tina Turner Live in Concert 2008 North American Tour
4. Czech Republic to Host Historic First Global Conference on Methamphetamine
5. Global Industry Analysts' Releases a Series of Medical Market Research Reports
6. Chindexs United Family Healthcare Launches - A global resource for travelers to China
7. Global Access Project (GAP) Study Examining Patients Access to Cancer Care Featured in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
8. Global Health Progress Joins WHO and DNDi to Call For Increased Commitments to Fighting Neglected Tropical Diseases
9. Global Med Technologies(R) Announces U.S. Release of Proven Tissue and Cellular Therapy Product
10. Proposing a New Global Compact for Infectious Diseases
11. The Center for Professional Innovation and Education (CfPIE) Announces a New Global Regulatory Certification Track
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... "When I was traveling, I was very ... "Many people catch diseases simply from sitting on such dirty toilet seats. I ... germs." , He developed the patent-pending QUDRATECS to eliminate the need to sit ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... , ... MPWH, the No.1 Herpes-only dating community in the world, revealed that over 50% of ... than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 – or 67% of the population ... global estimates of HSV-1 infection . , "The data shocks us highly!" said Michelle ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... Secura Consultants has prided itself for not only fulfilling the needs of advisers ... solutions at an affordable price and providing top-tier customer service. However, there's always ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Dr. Thomas Dunlap ... Inc. and Dr. Tucker Bierbaum with Emergency Medicine at St., Joseph Health ... both STEMI and Sepsis conditions present in similar ways and require time-critical intervention to ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Inevitably when people think ... customers choose to buy during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday massage chair ... to search the Internet high and low to find the best massage chair deals, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ... Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive ... offering. --> ) has ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ) has ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the ... Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging ... --> ) has announced the ... and Growth Strategies in the German Drugs ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nov. 26, 2015 Research and Markets ... "Advanced Wound Care Market by Type (Dressings, Therapy ... User (In-Patient Facility, Out-Patient Facility), and Geography - Global ... --> --> The ... definition and forecast of the global advanced wound care ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: