The first study to examine the role of climate on stone presentation in a large city above the Southern “stone belt” states found that emergency department (ED) visits for renal colic increase during warmer months and decrease in colder months.

Mohit Sirohi, MD, and Benjamin F. Katz, MD, of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, and colleagues analyzed 3,647 ED visits for renal colic at their hospital from January 2007 through December 2012. The highest average monthly rate of renal colic occurred in August (43.8 per 1,000 ED visits) and the lowest occurred in February (28.8 per 1,000 ED visits), the researchers reported online ahead of print in the Journal of Endourology. Male patients account for 63% of ED visits for renal colic.

On multivariate analysis, only average monthly temperature was significantly associated with monthly urinary calculi presentation rate, according to the investigators.

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“Urologists should recognize that warmer seasons might result in an increased incidence of patients presenting to the ED with renal colic,” the authors concluded. “We can combat this effect by instructing patients to take several known preventative measures such as increasing fluid intake and decreasing protein consumption.”