27 Sep Physical Activity Did Not Reduce Incidence of Kidney Stones
Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?
Dr. Ferraro: We analyzed the association between physical activity and energy intake and the risk of developing kidney stones in three large cohorts of U.S. health professionals. The 215,133 participants included did not have any history of kidney stones when follow-up began. During 20 years of follow-up, 5,355 of them developed a kidney stone. Initially, we found that participants with higher physical activity levels had a reduced risk of developing stones in two of the three cohorts. However, after accounting for a number of factors that could potentially confound the association such as age, body mass index and dietary intake, the association was no longer significant. Similarly, energy intake was not associated with a reduced risk of developing kidney stones.
Medical Research: What was most surprising about the results?
Dr. Ferraro: We undertook this study with the hypothesis that physical activity per se would not modify the risk of developing kidney stones once other factors such as dietary habits would be taken into account, hence the main findings of the study were expected. This study confirms that the main modifiable risk factors for kidney stones are body mass index and dietary habits.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Ferraro: The take-away message of the study should not be that patients shouldn’t exercise, but rather that physical activity should be accompanied by weight loss and dietary modifications to effectively reduce the risk of kidney stones. Furthermore, since we studied a population with no history of kidney stones in the beginning, our results are not necessarily applicable to patients who already suffer from kidney stones.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Ferraro: Future research should investigate the association (or lack thereof) between physical activity and risk of recurrence in patients with already established kidney stones.
Pietro Manuel Ferraro, Gary C. Curhan, Mathew D. Sorensen, Giovanni Gambaro, Eric N. Taylor