Climate change may cause more kidney stones

2014-07-11 10:10

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - A warming planet is likely to bring more hot days, more sweaty people and more dehydration - a key risk factor for a surge in kidney stones, researchers said on Thursday.

Already, the study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found a link between hot days and kidney stones in 60 000 patients whose medical records were studied in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

"We found that as daily temperatures rise, there is a rapid increase in the probability of patients presenting over the next 20 days with kidney stones," said lead author Gregory Tasian, a pediatric urologist and epidemiologist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

As average daily temperatures climbed above 50 Fahrenheit (10 Celsius), the risk of kidney stone presentation increased in all the cities except Los Angeles.

Rise in kidney stones

When comparing daily average temperatures of 10°C to 30°C, researchers found the higher temperatures were associated with a 38% higher risk of kidney stone in Atlanta and a 37% higher risk in Chicago.

Similarly, the risk in Dallas was 37% higher and in Philadelphia it was 47% higher. Los Angeles saw a smaller increased risk of 11% on hotter days.

Kidney stones were most common within three days of a hot spell.

Researchers also found that very cold weather in Atlanta, Chicago and Philadelphia was associated with a rise in kidney stones, perhaps because people were inside and restricting their physical activity more than usual.

Global climate change

Kidney stones are caused when substances in the urine, such as calcium and phosphorus, become highly concentrated. Failing to drink enough fluids can exacerbate the problem.

About 10% of the US population is believed to suffer from kidney stones. They are more common in men than women.

"These findings point to potential public health effects associated with global climate change," said Tasian.

With worldwide temperatures already regularly higher in recent years than the 20th century average, and more warming expected in years to come, Tasian said experts believe that kidney stones may become more common.

"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," said Tasian.
Read more on:    health  |  climate change

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.