Platinum Priority – Stone Disease Editorial by Brian R. Matlaga on pp. 166–167 of this issue| Volume 62, ISSUE 1, P160-165, July 01, 2012

Prevalence of Kidney Stones in the United States



      The last nationally representative assessment of kidney stone prevalence in the United States occurred in 1994. After a 13-yr hiatus, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) reinitiated data collection regarding kidney stone history.


      Describe the current prevalence of stone disease in the United States, and identify factors associated with a history of kidney stones.

      Design, setting, and participants

      A cross-sectional analysis of responses to the 2007–2010 NHANES (n = 12 110).

      Outcome measurements and statistical analysis

      Self-reported history of kidney stones. Percent prevalence was calculated and multivariable models were used to identify factors associated with a history of kidney stones.

      Results and limitations

      The prevalence of kidney stones was 8.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 8.1–9.5). Among men, the prevalence of stones was 10.6% (95% CI, 9.4–11.9), compared with 7.1% (95% CI, 6.4–7.8) among women. Kidney stones were more common among obese than normal-weight individuals (11.2% [95% CI, 10.0–12.3] compared with 6.1% [95% CI, 4.8–7.4], respectively; p < 0.001). Black, non-Hispanic and Hispanic individuals were less likely to report a history of stone disease than were white, non-Hispanic individuals (black, non-Hispanic: odds ratio [OR]: 0.37 [95% CI, 0.28–0.49], p < 0.001; Hispanic: OR: 0.60 [95% CI, 0.49–0.73], p < 0.001). Obesity and diabetes were strongly associated with a history of kidney stones in multivariable models. The cross-sectional survey design limits causal inference regarding potential risk factors for kidney stones.


      Kidney stones affect approximately 1 in 11 people in the United States. These data represent a marked increase in stone disease compared with the NHANES III cohort, particularly in black, non-Hispanic and Hispanic individuals. Diet and lifestyle factors likely play an important role in the changing epidemiology of kidney stones.


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