Monday, February 6, 2023

Climate change will increase kidney stones: Study

A new study has found that rising temperatures from climate change will lead to an increase in kidney stone cases.

Dr. Gregory Tasian is a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and lead author of the study, which was published Monday in the peer-reviewed journal. scientific report,

“While it is impossible to predict with certainty how future policies will slow or accelerate greenhouse gas emissions and anthropogenic climate change … our analysis suggests that a warming planet has an increasing risk of kidney stone disease on health systems. burden,” Dr. Tasian said. in a press release.

Kidney stones are hard mineral deposits that can be very painful when they pass through the urinary system. They can form for a variety of reasons, including diet, genetics, obesity, and taking certain medications and supplements. According to the study, heat also plays a factor.

“It is well established that high ambient temperatures increase the risk of developing kidney stone disease and presenting with acute, symptomatic stones,” the study explained. “One proposed mechanism is that higher evaporative water loss leads to a more concentrated urine, creating an environment in which calcium, oxalate, uric acid and phosphate are more likely to crystallize.”

Studies show that kidney stones affect one in 11 Americans, and that number has risen over the past two decades, especially among teens and women. The Kidney Foundation of Canada estimates that one in 10 Canadians is affected.

To see how climate change might affect kidney stone prevalence, the researchers built a model based on South Carolina kidney stone case and climate data from 1997 to 2014. That information was then used to make two forecasts: one based on aggressive greenhouse gas reductions, and the other based on uninterrupted emissions.

Their model found that by 2089, the incidence of kidney stones would increase by 2.2 percent in the first scenario, and by 3.9 percent in the second. In any case, he estimated that between US$57 million and $99 million is being spent to treat additional kidney stone cases in South Carolina alone as average global temperatures rise.

The study is the latest addition to a growing body of research on the many health effects of climate change, which are already being documented in Canada. The World Health Organization calls climate change “the greatest health threat facing humanity”.

“With climate change, we don’t often talk about the impact on human health, especially when it comes to children, but a warming planet will have a significant impact on human health,” said Dr. Tasian, who also teaches at the University of Pennsylvania, said. “As pediatric researchers, we have a duty to address the burden of climate change on human health, as children of today will be living this reality in the future.”

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