Kidney stones are increasing, particularly among adolescents, females and African-Americans in the US, says a new study.
"The emergence of kidney stones in children is particularly worrisome, because there is limited evidence on how to best treat children for this condition," said Gregory E. Tasian, a paediatric urologist and epidemiologist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in the US.
Poor water intake and dietary habits, such as an increase in sodium and a decrease in calcium intake may be the possible factors for the rise of kidney stones, said the authors.
"Those affected, particularly young women, are now at a higher risk of contracting chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular and bone disease," Tasian warned.
Experts suggested that the patterns found by the researchers might assist physicians and public health officials in designing targeted prevention strategies for people at higher risk for kidney stone. The researchers studied specific groups of patients at greatest risk by analyzing age, race and sex characteristics, over a 16-year period, from 1997 to 2012.
Overall, the annual incidence of kidney stones increased 16 percent between 1997 and 2012, the findings showed. Between 1997 and 2012 the risk of kidney stones doubled during childhood for both boys and girls, while there was a 45 percent increase in the lifetime risk for women, the study revealed.
The highest rate of increase in kidney stones was among adolescent females, and in any given year, stones were more common among females than males aged 10 to 24 years. After age 25, kidney stones became more common among men.
Among African-Americans, the incidence of kidney stone increased 15 percent more than in whites within each five-year period, the findings published online in the journal American Society of Nephrology, showed.
The researchers analysed data from nearly 153,000 child and adult kidney stone patients.