Effect of Temperature on Kidney Stones in Children and Adults

In a study published in June 2014, researchers found that as daily temperatures rise, there is a rapid increase in the probability of patients presenting with kidney stones over the next 20 days.

Study leader Gregory E. Tasian, MD, MSc, MSCE, senior author Ron Keren, MD, MPH, and colleagues from other centers published their results in Environmental Health Perspectives, the journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The Urologic Diseases in America Project, supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, sponsored the study.

The study team analyzed medical records of more than 60,000 adults and children with kidney stones between 2005 and 2011 in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, in connection with weather data. Tasian and colleagues described the risk of stone presentation for the full range of temperatures in each city. As mean daily temperatures rose above 50 F (10 C), the risk of kidney stone presentation increased in all the cities except Los Angeles. The delay between high daily temperatures and kidney stone presentation was short, peaking within three days of exposure to hot days.

Read more about the study.

Research continues

Extending from this study, Tasian is continuing research on ways to increase water intake for children with kidney stones.

In order to mitigate the risk of heat-mediated nephrolithiasis, Stone Center researchers are also examining barriers to water intake among adolescents and seeking to develop interventions to increase water intake in this population. 

Other studies are underway to examine the association between dietary fructose and zinc and kidney stones in adolescents.

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Kidney Stones in Children - CHOP's Pediatric Stone Center

Watch: Treating Kidney Stones in Children

Learn about the rising incidence of kidney stones in children and how stones are diagnosed and treated at CHOP's Pediatric Kidney Stone Center.