Adults who consume a diet high in added sugars are more likely to have a higher prevalence of kidney stones, according to recent data published in Frontiers in Nutrition.1
Participants who were in the highest quartile of the study population based on added sugar intake had a 39% increased risk of developing kidney stones over the study period compared with those in the lowest quartile.
“Ours is the first study to report an association between added sugar consumption and kidney stones. It suggests that limiting added sugar intake may help to prevent the formation of kidney stones,” said lead author Shan Yin, MD, in a news release on the findings.2 Yin is a researcher at the Affiliated Hospital of North Sichuan Medical College in Nanchong, China.
For the study, the investigators collected data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey on patients aged 20 and older who had a history of kidney stones and were able to recall dietary intake on added sugars. This yielded a total of 28,303 patients with an average age of 48 years. Among all participants, 52.26% were female and 47.74% were male. Kidney stones were prevalent in 10.13% of all participants.
Those included in the study were asked to recall their dietary patterns in the prior 24 hours during both a face-to-face interview and a telephone interview that were given 3 to 10 days apart. Based on their recalled habits, participants were given a healthy eating index score (HEI-2015) that reflected the adequacy of beneficial diet components included in their food intake.
Among all participants, the average energy intake from added sugars was 272.10 kilocalories, which is the equivalent of 13.2% of the total daily energy intake needed.
The data also showed that patients who had a higher intake of added sugar were more likely to have a higher prevalence of kidney stones, a lower HEI-2015 score, and a lower education level than those with a lower intake. After adjusting for confounding variables such as age, smoking status, HEI-2015 score, and other explanatory factors (OR = 1.02; 95% CI, 1.01-1.02), a positive correlation remained between the percentage of energy intake from added sugar and kidney stones.
Participants who were in the highest (4th) quartile of the study population based on added sugar intake had a 39% increased risk of developing kidney stones over the study period (2007-2018) compared with those in the lowest quartile (OR = 1.39; 95% CI, 1.17 to 1.65; P < .001).
Further, those whose added sugar intake accounted for greater than 25% of their total daily energy had an 88% increased risk of developing kidney stones compared with those who derived less than 5% of their total energy from added sugars (OR = 1.88; 95% CI, 1.52 to 2.32; P < .001).
Yin concluded in the news release,2 “Further studies are needed to explore the association between added sugar and various diseases or pathological conditions in detail. For example, what types of kidney stones are most associated with added sugar intake? How much should we reduce our consumption of added sugars to lower the risk of kidney stone formation? Nevertheless, our findings already offer valuable insights for decision-makers.”
1. Yin S, Yang Z, Zhu P, Du Z, Yu X, Tang T, Borné Y. Association between added sugars and kidney stones in U.S. adults: data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007–2018. Front Nutr. Published online August 4, 2023. Accessed August 8, 2023. doi:10.3389/fnut.2023.1226082
2. Consuming added sugars may increase risk of kidney stones. News release. Frontiers. July 31, 2023. Accessed August 8, 2023. https://www.newswise.com/articles/consuming-added-sugars-may-increase-risk-of-kidney-stones?ta=home