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What Protects the Heart May Also Ward Off Kidney Stones
Date:5/17/2011

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- The same lifestyle factors that are linked to healthy hearts and bones can also keep painful kidney stones at bay, a series of new studies suggests.

Researchers presenting data on Tuesday at the American Urological Association's annual meeting in Washington, D.C., contended that aspects such as diet, weight, calorie and calcium intake and medication usage can determine whether adults will develop kidney stones.

While the biggest risk factor for kidney stones is dehydration, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, this common condition can also be hereditary or caused by many other factors.

"Stone disease has been a problem since people have been around," said Dr. Marshall L. Stoller, who co-authored a study indicating women with higher calcium intakes were at reduced risk of the problem. "Only one disease is mentioned in the Hippocratic oath -- stone disease."

"Women should not lower their calcium intake in hopes of lowering their risk for calcium-based kidney stones," added Stoller, vice chair of the urology department at the University of California, San Francisco. "Those women who cut down their calcium increased their risk. It's sort of counterintuitive."

In addition to Stoller's study, other studies presented at the meeting suggested:

  • Reducing daily calorie intake may significantly lower the risk for stone disease in overweight and obese people. Scientists from the University of California, San Francisco used data on 78,551 participants from the Women's Health Initiative study to examine diet, body mass index (BMI, a ratio of weight to height) and stone disease.
  • Meat-heavy diets may be linked to a higher risk of developing kidney stones. Researchers from the University of Oxford, England, studied 50,617 people, finding that fresh fruit, fiber and certain minerals may reduce risk. No associ
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