01/26/2005 - News

Overweight increases kidney stone risk

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


Overweight increases kidney stone risk

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

A new report from two long-running studies shows that obesity and weight gain increase the risk of developing a kidney stone.
Around ten per cent of men and five per cent of women get kidney stones, an extremely painful condition. Now researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School say that being overweight could increase the risk of kidney stones.

The data come from the long-running Health Professionals Follow-Up study, involving over 45,000 men, and the Nurses' Health Study which covers nearly 94,000 women. Men weighing more than 220 pounds had a 44 per cent greater chance of kidney stones than those weighing less than 150 pounds.

For women in these weight categories, the increased risk was about 90 per cent - the exact figure dependent on age. When it came to weight gain, those who had put on more than 35 pounds since age 21 had a 39 per cent increased risk, compared to those who had stayed the same weight. For women, the equivalent risk was 70 per cent for older women and 82 per cent for younger women. It looks as if there is no specific dietary component that promotes - or protects from - kidney stones. Rather, it is overweight itself that is the risk factor.

Journal of the American Medical Association 26th January 2005 Volume 293 pages 455-462

Created on: 01/26/2005
Reviewed on: 01/26/2005

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