(HealthDay News) – The prevalence of kidney stones has increased in the United States, with obesity and diabetes correlating strongly with a history of kidney stones.

Charles D. Scales Jr., MD, from the Robert Wood Foundation at the University of California Los Angeles, and colleagues used data from 12,110 responders to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys in 2007–2010 to describe the current prevalence of kidney stone disease in the United States. They also examined the factors associated with kidney stones.

The researchers found that the prevalence of kidney stones was 10.6% in men, 7.1% in women, and 8.8% overall. Compared with normal-weight individuals, kidney stones were more common among obese (11.2 vs. 6.1%). Compared with Caucasian non-Hispanics, a kidney stone was less likely to be reported by black non-Hispanics and Hispanics (odds ratio, 0.37 and 0.60, respectively). In multivariable models, obesity and diabetes correlated strongly with a history of kidney stones.

“Imagine that we only treated people with heart disease when they had chest pain or heart attacks, and did not help manage risk factors like smoking, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure,” Scales said in a statement. “This is how we currently treat people with kidney stones. We know the risk factors for kidney stones, but treatment is directed towards patients with stones that cause pain, infection, or blockage of a kidney rather than helping patients to prevent kidney stones in the first place.”

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