Kidney Stones Linked to ESRD

End stage renal disease risk increased in those with kidney stones

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Chris Galloway, M.D.

(RxWiki News) While passing kidney stones can be quite painful, the stones usually do not cause permanent damage. Yet, new research suggests people who have had kidney stones may be faced with other kidney and urinary problems.

People with kidney stones had a higher risk of end-stage renal disease (complete or near-complete kidney failure) than people without kidney stones, according to findings from Mayo Clinic researchers.

"Drink more water and eat less meat."

Kidney stones often form when patients have more concentrated urine, which allows minerals in the urine to harden and stick together. While kidney stones usually form in the kidney, they can affect any part of your urinary tract, including your bladder and urethra.

Andrew Rule, MD, of Mayo Clinic's Department of Urology, and colleagues wanted to see if these painful stones contributed to the development of end-stage renal disease.

They found that kidney stone patients had an increased risk of end-stage renal disease, with a hazard ratio of 2.09.

A hazard ratio explains how much an event happens in one group versus another. A ratio of less than 1.0 means the event happens less often in group, while a ratio of more than 1.0 means the event happens more often.

In this case, end-stage renal disease happened more often in people with kidney stones than in people without stones.

Over the course of the study, a total of 51 out of 6,926 (0.74 percent) kidney stone patients and 75 out of 24,620 (0.30 percent) non-kidney stone patients developed end-stage renal disease. Even though kidney stone patients had a higher risk of end-stage renal disease, these rates suggest that the overall risk was small.

Other urological diseases were common among kidney stone patients who went on to develop end-stage renal disease.

Of those who developed end-stage renal disease, kidney stone patients were more likely than non-kidney stone patients to have had:

  • hydronephrosis (44 versus 4 percent) - a condition in which the kidney swells because of a backup of urine
  • repeated urinary tract infections (26 versus 4 percent)
  • single kidney (15 versus 3 percent)
  • neurogenic bladder (12 versus 1 percent) - a condition in which a patient has no bladder control because of brain, spinal cord or nerve problems
  • ileal conduit (9 versus 0 percent) - a surgery that reroutes the path of urine

Also among those with end-stage renal disease, kidney stone patients were less likely than non-kidney stone patients to have had diabetes (32 versus 49 percent) or high blood pressure (44 versus 52 percent).

The research was published in September in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology

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Review Date: 
September 23, 2012
Last Updated:
September 25, 2012