Rising Temperatures Also Bring ... Kidney Stones?

Researchers see a link, thanks to dehydration
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2014 12:30 PM CDT
Rising Temperatures Also Bring ... Kidney Stones?
President Lyndon Baines Johnson displays the incision from his gall bladder surgery and kidney stone removal in this Oct. 20, 1965, file photo.   (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi, file)

Climate change has taken blame for everything from the demise of penguins to a predicted guacamole shortage. Now, you can add kidney stones to that list. An Environmental Health Perspectives study finds that rising temperatures increase the risk of kidney stones, reports Science World Report. Researchers looked at 60,000 cases in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia between 2005 and 2011 and found a pattern: As it got hotter, the number of patients turning up with kidney stones increased, usually within three days of a particularly hot spell, reports MedPage Today.

"Kidney-stone prevalence has already been on the rise over the last 30 years," says a lead researcher from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "We can expect this trend to continue, both in greater numbers and over a broader geographic area, as daily temperatures increase." In Philadelphia's case, the chances of a patient seeking help when it was 86 degrees was 47% higher than at 50 degrees, notes the Inquirer. The culprit is dehydration, explains io9, because that leads to a buildup of calcium and minerals in people's urine. (Another potential result of warming temperatures: a jellyfish boom.)

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