Prevalence of Kidney Stones in the United States

This study conducted by the Urologic Diseases in America Project, shows that approximately one in 11 Americans are affected by urinary stone disease, which can pose a health care burden. New investigations suggest that the increasing prevalence of stone disease is connected to dietary and lifestyle factors.

Urinary stone disease prevalence was last measured with 1988–1994 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Prevalence of stone disease was estimated at 6.3 percent among men and 4.1 percent among women.

The current study used data from the 2007–2010 NHANES to estimate population prevalence of stone disease. There were 12,110 participants who responded to the questions about history of stone disease.

Key Findings:

  • Overall prevalence of stone disease was 8.8 percent.
  • Men (10.6%) were more likely to report stone disease than women (7.1%).
  • Stone disease prevalence was highest among non-Hispanic White individuals (10.3%).
  • Additionally, stone disease prevalence was higher among obese (11.2%) and overweight (9.2%) individuals as compared to those with normal weight.

This study discusses reasons for increased prevalence, including growing obesity and overweight rates and temperature-related changes. Study limitations include technological advances, an aging population, and design of the NHANES instrument. This study’s findings suggest the costs of kidneys stones will continue to rise in the United States and should be addressed.