ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Know Your Asthma Triggers
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Using a Balloon to Repair a Broken Back
New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
Genes May Help Drive Rotator Cuff Injury
CANCER
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
Green Tea Compound Slowed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
MRSA Infections Spreading to Kids in Community
Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome
Caregiving May Lengthen Life
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
DIABETES
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
DIET, NUTRITION
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
Keep Stress Off the Holiday Meal Menu, Expert Advises
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Prenatal Exposure to Traffic Pollution May Lead to Asthma
As Earth Warms, Lyme Disease Could Flourish
Greenhouse Gases Hazardous to Your Health
EYE CARE, VISION
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
Impotence Drugs Don't Harm Vision: Study
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
FITNESS
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Heart Disease
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
MEN'S HEALTH
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
SENIORS
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Add your Article

Global Warming Linked to Heightened Kidney Stone Risk

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- Rising temperatures and increased dehydration linked to global warming will boost kidney stone rates in the United States and around the world, new research suggests.

In the United States in particular, hotter weather will lead to a dramatic rise in kidney stone disease among residents of southern states -- the so-called "kidney-stone belt." This will result in an increase of 1.6 million to 2.2 million additional kidney stone cases by 2050, according to the study.

"This is an example of how global warming will affect people directly," said study author Tom Brikowski, an associate professor with a specialty in hydrology in the department of geosciences at the University of Texas at Dallas.

The study authors stressed that the exact degree of the increased risk remains unclear. But, Brikowski added, "We are certain that warming will increase, and that the rate of kidney stone disease will go up. So as a nation, we will have to pay more attention to this problem."

The findings are reported in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Brikowski and his colleagues said the "kidney-stone belt" currently includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. But with global warming, the risk of kidney stone disease could ultimately touch a much wider swath of states, stretching from Kentucky all the way to northern California, the researchers said.

According to the U.S. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse, about 5 percent of Americans develop kidney stones at some point, with the risk rising as men and women enter their 40s and 50s, respectively.

Typically composed of calcium and other minerals found in urine, a kidney stone is a hard, crystallized mass that passes -- often painfully -- through the urinary tract. Drinking too little fluid and/or dehydration can lead to development of a stone, as can a metabolic predisposition for kidney stone disease, known as nephrolithiasis.

To gauge the potential impact of global warming on kidney stone risk, the researchers analyzed two prior kidney stone studies that had plotted disease incidence by U.S. geographic regions, along with federal reports assessing global warming patterns. The researchers then developed two mathematical models to compute all the information. Both models predicted that the current "kidney-stone belt" would expand and that overall incidence will rise.

However, while one model suggested that most of the rise in cases will be concentrated in the southern half of the United States, the other model identified the upper Midwest region as the future problem area.

The study concluded that, in either case, the increase in kidney stone cases could boost health-care costs by as much as $1 billion.

"And this problem is not just confined to the U.S.," said Brikowski. "This will also touch southern Europe, southeastern Europe, and southeast Asia. And because in that last area treatment options are more limited, countries in that region will certainly experience a much more severe impact on health."

Kristina Penniston, a registered dietician and associate scientist in the department of urology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, called the new research "illuminating and provocative."

"It does seem entirely plausible that incidence [of kidney stones] will increase with global warming, primarily because one of the driving forces of incidence is hydration, and with global warming people will tend to be less well hydrated," she said.

"I'm also interested," Penniston added, "in how global warming will impact the diet of people, because there are also many nutritional factors related to kidney stones. And climate change affects the nutrient composition of the plants that we grow and the animals that we eat. For example, fruits and vegetables are inhibitors of stones. So the question then is, will people be eating less of that as temperatures rise because these things don't grow as abundantly? And will that then alter people's risk for stones? These are some of the important issues that this study raises."

More information

For additional information on kidney stones, visit the U.S. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse.



SOURCES: Tom Brikowski, Ph.D., associate professor, hydrology specialty, department of geosciences, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas; Kristina Penniston, Ph.D., R.D., associate scientist, department of urology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison; July 14-18, 2008, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Last Updated: July 14, 2008

Copyright 2008 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

More articles at www.eholistic.com