24 October 2014

Kidney stones linked to weaker bones

A new study found that kidney stone patients were at significantly higher risk for bone fractures.


Kidney stone patients may be at increased risk for broken bones and may require treatment to protect their bone health, a new study suggests.

Researchers led by Dr. Michelle Denburg, of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, analysed data from nearly 52,000 British kidney stone patients and more than 517,000 people without kidney stones.

During a median follow-up of nearly five years, kidney stone patients were at significantly higher risk for fractures, and this increased risk affected all bones, Denburg's team found.

Read: Kidney stones increasing in women

Overall, males with kidney stones were 10 percent more likely to suffer broken bones than those without kidney stones. The risk was highest among male teens – those with kidney stones had a 55 percent higher risk for fractures than those without kidney stones.

Among women, those with kidney stones had a 17 percent to 52 percent increased risk of fractures from their 20s to their 60s, with the highest risk among women aged 30 to 39, according to the study published online on 23 October in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

No proof of link

The findings only point to an association between kidney stones and fracture risk, and do not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. However, the researchers believe that efforts to boost kidney stone patients' bone health might help shield them from fractures.

Read: Vitamin D may prevent fractures in older women

"Given that the median time from diagnosis of [kidney stones] to fracture was a decade, we might be able to intervene during this interval to reduce the burden of future fracture," Denburg said in a news release from the American Society of Nephrology.

Read more:

14 FAQ on diet and kidney stones
Calcium foods lower kidney stone risk
5 types of kidney stones

Image: Kidney stones from Shutterstock


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Healthy Bones

Tereza is the CEO of the National Osteoporosis Foundation and worked as a Nursing Sister in the field of Osteoporosis for 18 years prior to her appointment with the Foundation. She used to be the Educational Officer for the Foundation and co-wrote the patient brochure on Osteoporosis. Read more

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