Women with a history of kidney stones are at elevated risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), according to a new study.

Pietro Manuel Ferraro, MD, of Columbus-Gemelli Hospital in Rome, Italy, and collaborators analyzed data from participants in the Nurses’ Health Study I (NHS I), which enrolled 90,235 women aged 30-55; the Nurses’ Health Study II (NHS II), which enrolled 106,122 women aged 22-42 years); and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS), which enrolled 45,748 men aged 40-75 years.

Of a total of 242,105 subjects, 19,678 reported a history of kidney stones. After up to 18 years of follow-up in women and 24 years in men, 16,838 CHD cases developed. Among women in NHS I, those with a history of kidney stones had a significant 18% higher risk of CHD than women without a history of kidney stones, after adjusting for potential confounders, the investigators reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2013;310:408-415). Among women in NHS II, a history of kidney stones was associated with a significant 48% increased risk of CHD. The researchers found no association between kidney stone history and CHD in men.

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For the study, Dr. Ferraro’s group defined CHD as fatal or nonfatal myocardial infarction or coronary revascularization.