Can Increasing Temperatures Increase The Risk Of Kidney Stones?

Who would think that kidney stones have some relationship to the weather. But researchers have documented that it is indeed the case.

As summer continues, rising temperatures can make people feel sweaty, dehydrated and just uncomfortable. However, a recent study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that increasingly high temperatures can increase the number of kidney stones seen in U.S. residents.

Hot and humid days may bring more kidney stones as higher temperatures contribute to dehydration that leads to a higher concentration of calcium in the body that promote the growth of kidney stones.

In a study involving 60,000 patients in the US, researchers found that as daily temperatures rose, there was a rapid increase in the number of patients seeking treatment for kidney stones.

“The findings point to potential public health effects associated with global climate change,” said Gregory E. Tasian, a pediatric urologist and epidemiologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

What could account for this painful parallel? For one, more sweltering temperatures may be dehydrating people, causing the kind of mineral build-up in their urine that helps kidney stones form. Stones have been known to grow in as short a period as three months; however, Tasian’s team found a much shorter link of three to 20 days between when daily temperatures peaked and patients sought medical assistance en masse for stones. They say that this quicker-than-expected association raises “questions about the rate at which kidney stones might develop in vivo.”

The researchers caution that any future increase in kidney stones is likely to hit people already medically predisposed to them (for instance, those with Randall’s plaques). Though stones are responsible for about half a million visits to the emergency room each year, only 11% of the US population has developed them.

The delay between high daily temperatures and kidney stone presentation was short, peaking within three days of exposure to hot days, the study added.

The team found that as frigid weather keeps people more in indoors, higher indoor temperatures, changes in diet and decreased physical activity may raise their risk of kidney stones.

The authors note that increase in greenhouse gas emissions are projected to raise earth’s average temperatures by 1 to 4.5 degrees Celsius by 2100.

Specifically, researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia looked at the medical records of some 60,000 adults and children diagnosed with kidney stones between 2005 and 2011 in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

“We found a general trend that as daily temperatures increase, there was an increased risk of patients presenting with kidney stones within 20 days of the temperature exposure,” explained lead author Dr. Greg Tasian.

“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 added. “With some experts predicting that extreme temperatures will become the norm in 30 years, children will bear the brunt of climate change.”

The paper was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

article source: http://www.newindianexpress.com/lifestyle/health/Scorching-Summer-May-Trigger-Kidney-Stone-Attacks/2014/07/11/article2325388.ece
photo source: Google Images

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