Diet and physical activity may affect one's risk of developing kidney stones

December 12, 2013

Washington, DC (December 12, 2013) -- Even small amounts of physical activity may decrease the risk of developing kidney stones, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). The study also found that consuming too many calories may increase risk.

Over the last 10 to 15 years, research has revealed that kidney stones are more of a systemic problem than previously thought. Their links with obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease demonstrate that the process of stone formation involves more than just the kidneys. As the prevalence of kidney stones has increased dramatically, especially in women, efforts to decrease the risk of stone formation have become even more important.

Mathew Sorensen, MD (University of Washington School of Medicine, and the Puget Sound Department of Veterans Affairs) and his colleagues conducted a study to evaluate whether energy intake and energy expenditure relate to kidney stone formation. They studied 84,225 postmenopausal women participating in the Women's Health Initiative, which has been gathering information such as dietary intake and physical activity in women since the 1990s.

After adjusting for multiple factors including body mass index, the researchers found that physical activity was associated with up to a 31% decreased risk of kidney stones. "Even small amounts of exercise may decrease the risk of kidney stones--it does not need to be marathons, as the intensity of the exercise does not seem to matter," said Dr. Sorensen. Women could get the maximum benefit by performing 10 metabolic equivalents per week, which is the equivalent of about three hours of average walking (2-3 mph), four hours of light gardening, or one hour of moderate jogging (6 mph).

The team also discovered that consuming more than 2200 calories per day increased the risk of developing kidney stones by up to 42%. Obesity was also a risk factor for stone formation.

"Being aware of calorie intake, watching their weight, and making efforts to exercise are important factors for improving the health of our patients overall, and as it relates to kidney stones," said Dr. Sorensen.

In an accompanying editorial, John Lieske, MD (Mayo Clinic) noted that because this study only included postmenopausal women, it will need to be replicated in other populations. He added that it is also possible that women who exercise regularly have other healthy habits that decrease stone risk. "Nevertheless, conservative (nonpharmacologic) counseling for patients with stones often centers almost exclusively on diet, stressing increased fluid intake, normal dietary calcium, lower sodium, moderate protein, and reduced dietary oxalate. The results of Sorensen et al. suggest that a recommendation for moderate physical activity might reasonably be added to the mix," he wrote.
-end-
Highlights Study co-authors include Thomas Chi, MD, Nawar Shara, MS, PhD, Hong Wang, MD, Rebecca Jackson, MD, Joe Miller, MD, Alex Reiner, MD, and Marshall Stoller, MD.

Disclosures: The authors reported no financial disclosures.

The article, entitled "Activity, Energy Intake, and Obesity and the Risk of Incident Kidney Stones in Postmenopausal Women," will appear online at http://jasn.asnjournals.org/ on December 12, 2013, doi: 10.1681/ASN.2013050548.

The editorial, entitled "New Insights Regarding the Interrelationship of Obesity, Diet, Physical Activity, and Kidney Stones," will appear online at http://jasn.asnjournals.org/ on December 12, 2013, doi: 10.1681/ASN.2013111189.

The content of this article does not reflect the views or opinions of The American Society of Nephrology (ASN). Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the author(s). ASN does not offer medical advice. All content in ASN publications is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This content should not be used during a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about a medical condition, or before taking any drug, changing your diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment. Do not ignore or delay obtaining professional medical advice because of information accessed through ASN. Call 911 or your doctor for all medical emergencies.

Founded in 1966, and with more than 14,000 members, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) leads the fight against kidney disease by educating health professionals, sharing new knowledge, advancing research, and advocating the highest quality care for patients.

American Society of Nephrology

Related Physical Activity Articles from Brightsurf:

Physical activity in the morning could be most beneficial against cancer
The time of day when we exercise could affect the risk of cancer due to circadian disruption, according to a new study with about 3,000 Spanish people  

Physical activity and sleep in adults with arthritis
A new study published in Arthritis Care & Research has examined patterns of 24-hour physical activity and sleep among patients with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and knee osteoarthritis.

Regular physical activity seems to enhance cognition in children who need it most
Researchers at the Universities of Tsukuba and Kobe re-analyzed data from three experiments that tested whether physical activity interventions lead to improved cognitive skills in children.

The benefits of physical activity for older adults
New findings published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports reveal how physically active older adults benefit from reduced risks of early death, breast and prostate cancer, fractures, recurrent falls, functional limitations, cognitive decline, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and depression.

Physical activity may protect against new episodes of depression
Increased levels of physical activity can significantly reduce the odds of depression, even among people who are genetically predisposed to the condition.

Is physical activity always good for the heart?
Physical activity is thought to be our greatest ally in the fight against cardiovascular disease.

Physical activity in lessons improves students' attainment
Students who take part in physical exercises like star jumps or running on the spot during school lessons do better in tests than peers who stick to sedentary learning, according to a UCL-led study.

Physical activity may attenuate menopause-associated atherogenic changes
Leisure-time physical activity is associated with a healthier blood lipid profile in menopausal women, but it doesn't seem to entirely offset the unfavorable lipid profile changes associated with the menopausal transition.

Are US adults meeting physical activity guidelines?
The proportion of US adults adhering to the 'Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans' from the US Department of Health and Human Services didn't significantly improve between 2007 and 2016 but time spent sitting increased.

Children from disadvantaged backgrounds do less vigorous physical activity
Children from disadvantaged backgrounds and certain ethnic minority backgrounds, including from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds, have lower levels of vigorous physical activity, according to researchers at the University of Cambridge.

Read More: Physical Activity News and Physical Activity Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.