The Canadian study evaluated data from the Alberta
Kidney Disease Network database, specifically pertaining to adults aged ≥18
years who resided in Alberta between April 1997 and March 2009. Three parameters were used to quantify
kidney damage: the occurrence of ESRD, the development of stage 3b-5 chronic
kidney disease, and sustained doubling of serum creatinine levels from the
found that one or more stone episodes during the follow-up period of 11 years
were associated with all the three measured parameters indicating kidney
Younger people were at a higher risk as
compared to the 50+ age group. The risk
was also higher in women than in men
; this result was similar to another
study which showed that kidney stones are associated with ESRD in women but not
in men. This may be possibly due to the
difference in anatomy of the urinary system in men and women.
The researchers have suggested some possible
mechanisms whereby the kidney stones can cause renal damage. Calcium kidney stones may be associated with
calcification of the kidney tissues.
Alternatively, the stone may obstruct and damage the kidney tubules,
resulting in scarring. In addition,
surgical and other treatments done to remove the stone may contribute to kidney
Kidney stones can be often prevented with adequate
treatment. Thus, their association with
ESRD, as demonstrated in the study, re-iterates the need to institute early
medications to prevent kidney stones and therefore serious renal complications.
1. Kidney stones and kidney function loss: a cohort study; Todd
Alexander et al; BMJ 2012.