What are the Risk Factors for Kidney Stones?

Updated at: Aug 02, 2011
What are the Risk Factors for Kidney Stones?

Understand Kidney Stones- There are many possible risk factors for kidney stones. Gender, age, underlying medical condition and genetic factors are some of factors that can lead to kidney stones.

Dr Poonam Sachdev
Kidney DiseasesWritten by: Dr Poonam SachdevPublished at: Aug 02, 2011

Kidney stones have become a common problem and any one can get kidney stones. But certain factors that increase your risk of developing kidney stones. Some of the risk factors for kidney stones include:


  • Past and family history of kidney stones: People who have had kidney stones in the past are more likely to develop another stone. Similarly a family history of stones (one or both parents, or siblings) increases your risk of developing kidney stones.
  • Adult age: Kidney stones form most commonly in adults between 20 –49 years of age. If you develop stones during the second or third decade of your life, there is a high chance of your developing another stone in the later stages of life.
  • Gender: The risk of kidney stones is higher in men as compared to women.
  • Dehydration: Dehydration or loss of fluid from body is a major risk factor for kidney stones. The salts, minerals, and other substances present in the urine normally remain dissolved. But in dehydration, the salts and minerals may precipitate to form stones. If you don’t drink enough water the risk of dehydration and thereby kidney stone is increased.
  • Diet: Dietary factors such as high intake of animal protein, high-salt diet, excessive sugar consumption, excessive vitamin D supplementation, and excessive intake of oxalate-containing foods such as spinach can increase the risk of kidney stones.
  • Being obese: People with high body mass index (BMI), increased waist size and weight gain are more likely to develop kidney stones.
  • Digestive diseases and surgery: Certain intestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhoea and surgeries such as gastric bypass surgery increase the risk of kidney stones as the way in which the intestines process calcium and other minerals changes, which can increase the levels of stone-forming substances in your urine.
  • Medical conditions: Several diseases such as renal tubular acidosis, cystinuria, hyperparathyroidism and certain urinary tract infections increase the risk of kidney stones.


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