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Your Kidney Stone - Extremely Widespread Prevalence

Updated on October 26, 2009

There are a wide variety of factors which can contribute to the formation of kidney stones, and they can diverge significantly from hereditary and dietary. Some of the more puzzling include the higher incidence of kidney stones among people who perspire excessively, work in hot environments like steel mills and bakeries, or among those individuals who have moved to desert and semi-arid climates.

Sunlight shining on your skin triggers a reaction which produces vitamin D. Although this is a necessary vitamin, excessive amounts can cause the intestinal tract to absorb more calcium than it ordinarily would, leading to the formation of kidney stones.

Lifestyle factors and personal choices also affect the development of kidney stones. Chronic dehydration is also a factor linked to the formation of kidney stones, and people with some eating disorders have a greater chance of developing them. Individuals who restrict their intake of fluids, whether consciously or not, are at much greater risk of acquiring stones. So are people who habitually eat a large meal at night time, shortly before bed.

However, there are also a significant number of medical ailments which can contribute to the development of kidney stones. These include Anatomic Abnormalities, Bowel Disease, Cystinuria, Hyperparathyroidism, Medullary Sponge Kidney, Milk-Alkali Syndrome, Paralysis, Renal Tubular Acidosis, and Ulcers.

Kidney stones have become extraordinarily prevalent in Western society and it is well beyond doubt that our modern lifestyle has significantly contributed to this prevalence.

The condition of kidney stones was at one time almost an entirely male domain, but now is being found in both sexes. An astounding 13 per cent of the American population has or will develop kidney stones which translates into over 40 million people, or more than the entire population of California. In the United States more than a million people a year are hospitalized for the treatment of kidney stones and many more than that are treated in doctors' offices or as out-patients.

The statistics for kidney stone sufferers in the United States reflect the severity and universality of this serious ailment:

  • 2.2 million visits were made to physician offices regarding kidney stones in the U.S.
  • 5.2% of adults aged 20-74 self-reported having kidney stones
  • 6.3% of male adults aged 20-74 self-reported having kidney stones
  • 4.1% of female adults aged 20-74 self-reported having kidney stones
  • 0.45% of hospital episodes were for kidney stones
  • 90% of hospital consultations for kidney stones required hospital admission
  • 71% of hospital episodes for kidney stones were for men
  • 29% of hospital episodes for kidney stones were for women
  • 41% of hospital admissions for kidney stones required emergency hospital admission
  • 3.4 days was the mean length of stay in hospitals for kidney stones
  • 2 days was the median length of stay in hospitals for kidney stones
  • 51 was the mean age of patients hospitalized for kidney stones
  • 68% of hospitalizations for kidney stones occurred in 15-59 year olds
  • 8% of hospitalizations for kidney stones occurred in people over 75
  • 32% of hospitalizations for kidney stones were single day episodes
  • 0.22% of hospital bed days were for kidney stones

Continued In: Your Kidney Stone - Caused By Your Lifestyle

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    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 

      5 years ago from Pasadena CA

      Interesting statistics. If your readers want to know why these situations you describe happen, I've written a hub about kidneys and how they function that shows it. You're right on about water being a factor. Fortunately, it's being a factor also makes it a cure. Thanks for writing this hub, Hal.

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