World Kidney Day: Cases of kidney stones soar

Kidney imageEmergency admissions for kidney stonesThe medical terms for kidney stones are calculus of the kidney and calculus of the kidney and ureter (code N20.0 and N20.2 in the HSCIC primary diagnosis 4 character data). For the purpose of this press release we have used the data from these two codes. are on the rise according to an analysis of the latest hospital admission figures, with the majority of admissions being men.

In the last ten years emergency hospital admissions for kidney stones rose by 115 per cent from 5,842 cases in 2004/2005 to 12,572 cases in 2014/2015.

The analysis, revealed to mark World Kidney Day (10th March), shows a considerable increase in primary admissions to hospital for calculus of the kidney and ureter (the medical term for kidney stones) from 26,210 in 2004/2005 to 47,990 in 2014/2015.

Almost two thirds of the cases are menHSCIC:””&gt, with 62 per cent (32,233) of cases in 2014/2015 being males. Men are more prone to the painful condition and are most at risk between 40 – 70 years oldThis figure excluded unknown gender and needs to be stated.

According to the Natural Hydration Council’s (NHC) analysis of the latest Health and Social Care Information Centre Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) is the national provider of information, data and IT systems for health and social care. data, the increase reflects a wider trend, with a five per cent increase in emergency admissions for kidney stones being seen in 2014/2015, and an 83 per cent increase in the number of cases being admitted to hospital in England for kidney stones, since 2004/2005.

There are several factors which can contribute to kidney stone formation and dehydration is one.  Dehydration, especially chronic dehydration, results in the production of urine that has a higher concentration of minerals and waste. This can lead to the formation of crystals that can affect kidney function and contribute to certain kidney diseases.

Professor Tom Sanders, adviser to the Natural Hydration Council and emeritus professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at Kings College London said:

“The increased prevalence of obesity probably explains why kidney stonesSorensen MD et al. (2012) Impact of nutritional factors on incident kidney stone formation: a report from the WHI OS. J Urol 187(5):1645-9 and chronic kidney disease are increasing. The best dietary advice available to prevent these conditions is to maintain a healthy weight, avoid adding salt to foodCurhan GC et al. (1993) A prospective study of dietary calcium and other nutrients
and the risk of symptomatic kidney stones. N Engl J Med 328: 833-838.
, eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and choose water as your first choice beverage”.

“People who have adequate fluid intake could be up to 30% less likely to suffer from the conditionThe statistics were produced by Kantar Worldpanel using data from Kantar Worldpanel’s Food and Drink Usage panel. 52 w/e 21 June 2015., and water is one of the healthiest choices when it comes to maintaining kidney health, as it has no sugar or calories. Yet two thirds of the population report drinking no more than one glass of water a daySontrop JM et al. (2013) Association between water intake, chronic kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease: a cross-sectional analysis of NHANES data. HYPERLINK “” \o “American journal of nephrology.”Am J Nephrol 37(5):434-42..

“The kidneys act as a purification system for the blood, filtering out and excreting excess salt as well as waste products such as urea and uric acid derived from the breakdown of protein rich foods. If urine is too concentrated, the solutes precipitate out causing stones. Drinking plenty of fluids reduces the risk of this happening and this is why it is sensible to drink plenty of water throughout the day.”

Dr John A Sayer, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Nephrology, Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University And Honorary Consultant Nephrologist at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust said:

“Kidney stones often present with pain. Typically this is a persistent ache in the lower back, but it may go down to the groin. If a stone is moving you may have periods of very intense pain. The pain is associated with restlessness and nausea. There may also be an increased frequency of passing urine, it may also be painful to urinate and there may sometimes be blood in the urine. A kidney stone can sometimes lead to a urinary tract infection with fevers and chills and offensive urine.”

The Natural Hydration Council has published a factsheet, Hydration and Kidney Health, to provide information and top tips to anyone wanting to find out more about kidney stones.

Top tips to support kidney health

  1. Whilst all fluid counts towards your fluid intake, water is one of the healthiest choices when it comes to maintaining kidney healthEFSA (2010) Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for water. EFSA Journal 8(3):1459. The daily intake figures are for water consumption via food and drink.
  2. Sip water little and often.
  3. Water requirements vary from person to person and the recommendations are average requirements (2 and 2.5 litres/day for women and men respectively [11].
  4. Kidney stones are more likely to occur when the climate is hot and dry and fluid intake is insufficient.
  5. During warmer weather conditions or when exercising strenuously you may need to drink more water than normal, due to fluid losses through sweating.
  6. Track your urine colour – this should be straw coloured or paler. If it is any darker than this, it is an indicator that you could be dehydrated.
  7. Keep a bottle of water handy when you are on the move or exercising.
  8. Kidney Research UK provides further useful diet and lifestyle advice on how to look after your kidneys.

NHS Choices lists the symptoms of kidney stones, these include:


Key statistics taken from Hospital Episode Statistics, Admitted Patient Care, England, 2014-15, Diagnosis, (primary diagnosis 4 character tab in Diagnosis table): – top

And Hospital Episode Statistics, Admitted Patient Care, England, 2004-2005, primary diagnosis 4 character table:,+Admitted+Patient+Care+2004&sort=Relevance&size=10&page=1&area=both – top