04/18/2006 - News

Kidney stone procedure increases diabetes risk

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


Kidney stone procedure increases diabetes risk

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

A follow up study suggests that lithotripsy for kidney stones increases the risk of both diabetes and hypertension.
In shock wave treatment - lithotripsy - for kidney stones, the stones are bombarded with shock waves which shatter the stone into a kind of sand which is passes naturally. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic now reveal that lithotripsy has long term health effects.

They looked at 630 patients who had lithotripsy in 1985 and compared them to a group of patients who had their kidney stones treated with medication. Nineteen years on, those treated with lithotripsy were nearly four times as likely to have diabetes compared with those treated medically. The risk of hypertension - high blood pressure - was 1.47 times higher. The researchers believe the shock waves could cause diabetes by damaging the pancreas. High blood pressure arises through scarring of the kidneys which can occur with lithotripsy. Of course, shock wave lithotripsy is still a very useful treatment for kidney stones, which affect ten per cent of men and five per cent of women. One million people in the US have already had the treatment. But the patient must be advised of the potential health risks associated with it.

Mayo Clinic 10th April 2006

Created on: 04/18/2006
Reviewed on: 04/18/2006

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