The impact of societal changes on patterns of urolithiasis

Dorit E. Zilberman, Daniel Yong, David M. Albala

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: The purpose of the present review is to track changes in prevalence and composition of stone disease as a result of lifestyle changes over the past century. Recent Findings: Increasing rates of obesity, diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome have resulted in increasing rates of nephrolithiasis among women, decreasing the male-to-female ratio from 1.3: 1 to 1.7: 1. Urine composition results have revealed a decrease in urinary pH (<5.5) and an increase in urinary uric acid supersaturation. This has resulted in increased rates of uric acid stones. Modern bariatric surgeries have further increased the risk of calcium oxalate stone formation. Offending agents, intentionally or unintentionally added to food or drug products, have also led to the appearance of previously unrecognized stone types, that is, melamine and indinavir calculi. Summary: Societal changes have had a tremendous impact on stone prevalence and composition. Prompt healthier lifestyle education as well as tighter quality control in the Food and Drug Industry is paramount to reducing nephrolithiasis rates and its complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-153
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Urology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Indinavir
  • Melamine
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Urolithiasis


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