An analysis of data from the CARDIA study reinforces the idea that nephrolithiasis and atherosclerosis have common systemic risk factors and/or pathophysiology.

By year 20 of the study, 200 (3.9%) of the 5,115 participants (aged 18 to 30 years at baseline) had reported ever having had kidney stones. Carotid wall thickness measured at year 20 was greater in those with symptomatic kidney stones, particularly at the internal carotid/bulb region.

Kidney stones was associated with a significant 60% increased risk of carotid atherosclerosis, even after adjusting for major atherosclerotic risk factors, investigators concluded in the Journal of Urology (2011;185:920-925).

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