More and more people are getting diagnosed with kidney stones each year, and while most people might think this condition is for “adults” only, the opposite is true. More kids and adolescents are being diagnosed with kidney stones today. Most people associate kidney stones with lifestyle factors, weight and diet. However, a new study on the causes of kidney stones in kids shows that unlike adults, being overweight and obese are not causes of this disease.
Speaking of adults, increased amount of calcium in the blood due to dehydration and too much intake of sodium can lead to development of kidney stones. More specifically, obese and overweight adults, and those with high blood pressure or diabetes are at an all-high risk of being diagnosed with stones.
While kidney stone statistics in kids are still lacking nowadays, trends can be observed in individual institution tallies wherein 125 kids have been admitted to hospitals due to kidney stone treatment back in 1999. The trend blew up to 1,389 in 2008. Considering other factors, there is an estimated 10% increase in the number of kids being treated for kidney stones. This statistics does not represent the entire US but is nevertheless significant.
To be enlightened with the actual predisposition to kidney stones among kids, Dr. Kim of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles made use of electronic health records in the Philadelphia area. They randomly picked 110 cases of kids with kidney stones; and another number of kids’ cases were picked, without prejudice to any condition they have. In the records they obtained, they found out that two percent of kids (below 21 years old) with kidney stones were overweight and about four percent were obese. Compared with those picked randomly (without prejudice to any disease), it was found out that four percent were overweight and close to five percent were obese.
This study was published in The Journal of Urology and stated that girls and boys have equal chances of getting kidney stones, and white kids are more likely to be diagnosed than black kids. Experts said that unlike adults, kids might not be affected by extra weight and metabolic changes in their body. However, they do not scrap the idea that diet may actually play a role in the development of kidney stone among kids.
Dr. Brian Matlaga, Urologist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, stated that it may be due to the lesser amounts of dairy products that kids have in their diet, or the fact that kids are very prone to dehydration.
Dr. Kim shared that indeed, more studies need to be taken to identify the actual causes or risks that place kids in the kidney stones watch list.
With findings on these matters, doctors will be more prepared and equipped to counsel kids and parents about kidney stones and how they can prevent acquiring the disease, says Matlaga.
SOURCE: http://bit.ly/qwn3cf The Journal of Urology, online August 19, 2011.