Massive species extinction, rising sea levels, flooding, drought, famine, disease. The list of potential climate change consequences is a mile long. And now there is a new worry to add to the list: kidney stones. A new study has found that rising temperatures will likely bring an increase in the urinary tract ailment.
For the study, researchers at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia looked at the medical records of more than 60,000 adults and children who were diagnosed with kidney stones between 2005 and 2011, and compared that information about average daily temps. The patients were from cities with a wide variety of climates such as Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Researchers found that in all of the cities, the incidence of kidney stones tended to peak within three days of hot weather. They also noted that as average annual daily temperatures rose above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the risk of people developing kidney stones within 20 days increased. This was true for all of the cities except Los Angeles.
"Kidney stone prevalence has already been on the rise over the last 30 years, and we can expect this trend to continue, both in greater numbers and over a broader geographic area, as daily temperatures increase," said Dr. Gregory Tasian, a pediatric urologist and epidemiologist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said in a hospital news release.
The good news is that the vast majority of the population does not have to worry about kidney stones. But for those of us in the 11 percent who have been affected by them, any news about an increase in the condition comes as bad news indeed.
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