A new study by researchers at the University of Texas has found a gene mutation in people with a family history of kidney stones, which makes them absorb too much calcium. They reported on six gene mutations which increase the risk of kidney stones, because they cause too much calcium absorption - a condition known as absorptive hypercalciuria (AH). They also added that people with kidney stones had a greater risk for osteoporosis because of deficiencies in the way the body handles calcium. For the study, researchers studied families with a history of kidney stones and compared their genetic profiles with those of healthy people. They found six different mutations in the same gene and having at least one of these was found to increase the risk of having AH by two to three times and having five, increased the risk by a factor of 11.5.
The researchers claimed that this discovery may lead to insights into the cause of both osteoporosis and kidney stones as they found that those with AH also had lower than normal bone density in the spine. This indicated that the mutations might be used as a marker for detecting osteoporosis at an early stage, when it can be more readily treated.