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Kidney Stones Increase risk of Bone Fracture, Study Finds

Update Date: Oct 23, 2014 05:04 PM EDT

People who have had kidney stones might need to take preventive measures for bone health. According to a new study, researchers discovered a link between urolithiasis, which is characterized by the formation of stones in the kidney, bladder and/or urinary tract, and an increased risk of bone fractures.

For this study, the researchers headed by Michelle Denburg, MD, MSCE from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, analyzed data on 51,758 people with urolithiasis from the United Kingdom and 517,267 matched controls without the condition.

The researchers found that over a median of 4.7 years, patients who developed stones were more likely to suffer from bone fractures. In men, the overall risk increased by 10 percent if they were diagnosed with urolithiasis. For adolescent boys, that risk was 55 percent higher. In women with urolithiasis, the bone fracture risk increased by 17 to 53 percent. Women with the highest risk were from the 30-to-39 age group.

"The significantly higher risk at certain ages in males and females has profound public health implications," said Dr. Denburg reported in the press release. "Given that the median time from diagnosis of urolithiasis to fracture was a decade, we might be able to intervene during this interval to reduce the burden of future fracture."

The study, "Risk of Fracture in Urolithiasis: A Population-Based Cohort Study using The Health Improvement Network," was published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

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