Women who have had a kidney stone are far more likely to also suffer heart disease, according to a new analysis of studies that involved a total of more than 240,000 people.
Researchers from Columbus-Gemelli Hospital in Rome who conducted the study noted they did not find the same association between kidney stones in men and coronary heart disease, nor could they explain the connection in women.
"Our finding of no significant association between history of kidney stones and risk of [heart disease] in men but an increased risk in women is difficult to explain, even though we could not determine whether this was due to sex or some other difference between the male and female cohorts," the researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association
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"However, differences by sex are not infrequent in studies … Further research is needed to determine whether the association is sex-specific and to establish the pathophysiological basis of this association."
The new findings are based on an analysis of data from three studiesinvolving 242,105 people — about 20,000 of whom reported a history of kidney stones — who were tracked for more than a decade.
Over the course of the study, women with a history of kidney stones — but not men — were found to have a much higher risk of suffering heart disease or heart attack.
According to federal health officials, about 10.6 percent of men and 7.1 percent of women develop kidney stones.
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