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Health Brief: Nephrolithiasis increasing among adolescents :

March 3, 2016

Tasian GE, et al. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. January 2016,

The annual incidence of kidney stones increased significantly among youths ages 15-19, especially among females, according to a 16-year population-based study of children and adults in South Carolina.

Middle-age white men have been most at risk for nephrolithiasis, but several studies indicate the prevalence of kidney stones may be rising in children and adolescents.

The authors of this study examined the rates of nephrolithiasis among South Carolinians of different ages, races and sex from 1997 to 2012. South Carolina is one of only a few states that collect data on all surgeries, inpatient admissions and emergency department visits, allowing researchers to estimate the annual incidence of kidney stones among the state’s entire population of 4.6 million people.

During the study period, 152,925 children and adults were treated for kidney stones. The annual incidence of kidney stones increased from 206 per 100,000 people in 1997 to 239 per 100,000 people in 2012 — a 16% increase.

After adjusting for sex and race, the incidence of kidney stones increased 26% per five years among 15- to 19-year-olds. After adjusting for age and race, the incidence among females increased 15% per five years, while the rate among males did not change.

Noting the paucity of evidence on how to treat children with nephrolithiasis, the authors called for more research on medications for younger patients and to identify factors that increase the risk in different groups.

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