Stone patients at greater risk for CHD, stroke

September 2, 2014

Results of a study that included approximately 50,000 patients point to an association between kidney stones and incident cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Results of a study that included approximately 50,000 patients point to an association between kidney stones and incident cardiovascular disease and stroke.

"People should be concerned about kidney stones. Evidence suggests an association between kidney stones and incident cardiovascular disease, even after adjusting for other cardiovascular risk factors,” said lead researcher Yanqiong Liu, MM, of the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, China, in a press release from the National Kidney Foundation.

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For the meta-analysis, which was published in the American Journal of Kidney Disease (2014; 64:402-10), the authors reviewed data from over 3.5 million patients, of whom about 50,000 reported having kidney stones.

The authors found that stone patients had a 19% increase in risk of incident coronary heart disease (defined as either having a heart attack or arterial bypass surgery) and a 40% increase in the risk of having a stroke.

In addition, when the results were separated by sex, women had significantly higher rates of coronary heart disease than men, which Dr. Liu called “suggestive but not conclusive.”

"[The higher incidence of risk in female patients] was unexpected and difficult to explain. We feel these findings need to be confirmed by further prospective studies, in which the mechanisms underlying this association should be examined,” Dr. Liu said.

"Kidney stones are common and with their association to coronary heart disease and stroke found in this study, it suggests that a thorough cardiovascular assessment should be considered in patients who develop kidney stones," said Thomas Manley, of the National Kidney Foundation. "It also suggests that anyone developing a kidney stone should seriously think about lifestyle modifications, such as weight loss, diet improvement, smoking cessation, and exercise, that will help prevent the development of both kidney stones and vascular disease."

 

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