Kidney stones are more common among children with asthma compared with the general pediatric population, new findings suggest.
In a study at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, investigators found that, compared with the general pediatric population, the prevalence of kidney stones was 4-fold greater among pediatric patients with asthma, and children with kidney stones have a 4-fold greater prevalence of asthma, according to a paper published online in PLoS One. The researchers ruled out body mass index (BMI) as a factor because BMI was similar among stone patients with and without asthma.
“To our knowledge, this is the first report of an association between asthma and kidney stone formation,” they wrote.
The investigators reported that the prevalence of kidney stones was 0.08% in the general pediatric population, but 0.31% in the pediatric asthmatic population and 0.53% among the patients aged 13 to 18 years. The prevalence of asthma in the pediatric population was 6.8% compared with 26.7% in the pediatric patients with kidney stones and 35% in the pediatric stone patients younger than 12 years.
Asthma prevalence has been on the rise for the past 20 years, and although kidney stones are rare in the pediatric population, the kidney stone rate is increasing, according to the researchers.
“These results clearly demonstrate a link between the conditions in a large pediatric population,” study co-author Serpil Erzurum, MD, said in a Cleveland Clinic press release. “A better understanding of the link between the diseases might uncover new genetic or biochemical pathways and could lead to better interventions to prevent painful stones from developing in pediatric asthma patients.” Dr Erzurum is chair of the Lerner Research Institute at Cleveland Clinic and holder of the Alfred Lerner Memorial Chair in Innovative Biomedical Research.
In the same release, study co-author Manoj Monga, MD, director of the Stevan B. Streem Center for Endourology and Stone Disease at the Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute, stated: “While obesity is thought to predispose children to kidney stones, the association between asthma and kidney stones in this study was not related to BMI. To date, theories regarding kidney stone formation have centered around abnormalities in urinary chemistries. As no differences were identified in this study, alternative links between the two diseases, perhaps involving inflammatory pathways or epithelial dysfunction, will need to be explored.”
Kartha GK, Li I, Comhair S et al. Co-occurrence of asthma and nephrolithiasis in children. PLoS One 2017 Jan 12;12(1):e0168813