Kidney stones early in life signify an increased risk for the development of cardiovascular disease later on, a new study shows.
Kidney stones in kids are increasingly common, and research has established a connection between kidney stones and atherosclerosis in adults, so researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, decided to find out if there was a significant association between the two health concerns in children.
They used ultrasound exams to evaluate and compare the thickness of key arteries for 15 children with kidney stones and 15 children without them. None of the participants were diagnosed with conditions known to cause atherosclerosis, so that any damage to the arteries could reasonably be associated with children's kidney stones.
The researchers detected a significant increase in the thickness of the right carotid artery and average artery thickness -- potential risk factors for cardiovascular complications or disease — in children with a recent kidney stone.
The study shows the first evidence of early vascular disease in children with kidney stones who are free of accompanying risk factors in adults, and it points to these children having increased cardiovascular risk that has not been previously recognized.
The researchers said their study, which appears in the Journal of Pediatrics, could be used to help doctors implement strategies to help prevent these ailments from occurring later in life.
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