Kidney stones are more likely to develop in men than women, and modifiable risk factors account for only a fraction of the difference, investigators reported at the 58th European Renal Association – European Dialysis and Transplant Association (ERA-EDTA) Congress.

In an analysis of data from 268,553 patients, Pietro Manuel Ferraro, MD, PhD, of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Rome, Italy, and colleagues found that the risk of kidney stones was consistently higher among men across age categories. After age adjustment, men still had a significant 2.3-fold higher risk for kidney stones compared with women. The gap in kidney stone incidence between men and women appears to be narrowing with time, however, Dr Ferraro reported in a video presentation.

Prior to 1990, men had a significant 2.7-fold higher risk for kidney stones compared with women, whereas from 2010 onward, men had a significant 1.7-fold higher risk.

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Non-urinary factors associated with excess stone risk among men included waist circumference, fluid intake, use of thiazide diuretics, sugar-sweetened beverages, dietary oxalate, and dietary calcium. Urinary factors included volume, oxalate, pH, and citrate, Dr Ferraro reported.

The study population consisted of participants in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and Nurses’ Health Study I and II. Dr Ferraro’s team excluded from their study patients who had kidney stones or cancer (except non-melanoma skin cancer) at baseline.


Ferraro PM, Taylor EN, Curhan GC. Sex differences in the risk of kidney stones. Presented at the 58th ERA-EDTA Congress 2021, June 5-8, 2021. Abstract MO122.