Kidney Stones More Frequent Because of Global Warming
According to a study published in the July 15 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA (and reported in the September issue of Scientific American), Kidney Stones will be more frequent during the 21st century.
It's not exactly making headlines, but according to the researchers, there could be an extra 1.6 to 2.2 million cases of kidney stones by 2050, a 7 to 10% increase on the current numbers. This could cost about 1.3 billion of medical costs, and of course cause a lot of pain.
Why Will Kidney Stones Become More Frequent?
The minerals that are dissolved in urine can crystalize under certain condition, and one of the contributing factors is dehydration. Read on for more details about geographical risk factors.Dehydration is more frequent in hotter regions, and that has a real-world impact. People living in the South-East of the US have a 50% greater chance of developing kidney stones than people in the North-East, and it has been observed that soldiers deployed to hot countries can suffer from the condition as soon as 90 days after they arrive.
So fighting global warming isn't just good for great tits, it's also good for your kidneys.
Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, using estimates from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of temperature swells over the next 40 years, found that the percentage of the U.S. population living in high-risk areas for kidney stones will rise from 40 percent in 2000 to 56 percent in 2050. According to their data, the greatest jump in cases will likely be in the Midwest, with an overall rise in incidence of between 10 and 11 percent.