Variation in Kidney Stone Composition Within the United States

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Endourology








calcium oxalate; epidemiology; stone composition; uric acid; urolithiasis


© Copyright 2018, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers 2018. Introduction and Objectives: Kidney stone incidence has been known to vary with temperature and climate. However, little is known about any variation in the composition of kidney stones across different regions of the United States. We attempted to evaluate whether stone composition changes depending on region. Methods: We were given access to de-identified data from LABCORPs database of kidney stone composition from August 1, 2016, to October 24, 2016, for states in seven representative areas of the country: Virginia, Minnesota, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, California, and Texas. We analyzed each component of kidney stones with optical microscopy supplemented with Fourier-Transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) spectrometry using both the percentage of the stone that was composed of that component as well as a binary variable coded none vs any. Univariate associations between component and state were examined using chi-square or Fisher's exact test for the binary indicator, and analysis of variance for the continuous percentage. The same set of analyses was used for decade of age vs each component. The association between age and state was examined using analysis of variance. Results: Data were available for 4335 kidney stones, from patients in the 7 states mentioned. The most common components across all stones were calcium oxalate monohydrate and calcium phosphate (both present in 93% of stones), calcium oxalate dihydrate (in 57% of stones), and uric acid (in 12% of stones). Stone composition did not vary widely across regions, except for uric acid stones, which were more prevalent in Florida compared to other states, with an odds ratio of 1.43 (95% confidence interval 1.12, 1.83). Conclusion: Kidney stone composition does not vary widely by region within the United States. Although temperature and humidity play a role in stone incidence, there does not appear to be a large variation between different climates, with the exception of uric acid stone formation in Florida.

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