Kidney stone rates in children may be on the rise

Research Activities, March 2011, No. 367

Obesity and diets high in sodium and animal proteins can lead to kidney stones, small pebble-like deposits of salt and minerals that cause their victims excruciating pain as they wind their way through the urinary tract. Typically a middle-age malady, kidney stones are becoming more common in children's hospitals, a new study finds.

Using the Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS) database that collects inpatient data from select U.S. pediatric hospitals, researchers noted an increase from 125 cases of kidney stones in 1999, when 9 hospitals participated in PHIS, to 1,389 in 2008, when 42 hospitals participated. When the number of participating hospitals and the hospitals' increased patient volume during the 10-year study period were taken into account, the annual increase for kidney stone diagnoses was about 11 percent.

Because the data represent 7,921 children with kidney stones who were seen as inpatients in pediatric hospitals, they cannot be used to estimate the rate of kidney stones among the general population of U.S. children, the authors caution. However, these data do appear to indicate that the number of children being diagnosed and treated for kidney stones is increasing, especially in pediatric hospitals. This study was funded in part by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (T32 HS00063).

See "Epidemiological trends in pediatric urolithiasis at United States freestanding pediatric hospitals," by Jonathan C. Routh, M.D., M.P.H., Dionne A. Graham, Ph.D., and Caleb P. Nelson, M.D., M.P.H., in the September 2010 Journal of Urology 184(3), pp. 1100-1105.

Current as of March 2011
Internet Citation: Kidney stone rates in children may be on the rise: Research Activities, March 2011, No. 367. March 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/mar11/0311RA15.html