Metabolic syndrome may increase the risk of kidney stones, data suggest. The finding comes from a study of 18,825 men and women aged 20 years and older who participated in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III).


Researchers led by Bradford West, MD, of the University of Arizona in Tucson found that the prevalence of a self-reported history of kidney stones increased with the number of metabolic syndrome traits. The prevalence was 3% among those with no traits, 7.5% in subjects with three traits, and 9.8% among those with five traits, according to a report in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases (published online ahead of print). The presence of four or more traits was associated with a twofold increased risk of self-reported kidney stones.

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Previous studies have linked kidney stone disease to components of the metabolic syndrome, such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes, but no published large-scale study has looked at the association between the metabolic syndrome and a history of kidney stones, the authors observed.


They wrote that “new-onset kidney stone disease in an otherwise healthy patient should be considered a potential indication to investigate the possible presence of metabolic syndrome.”