MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?
Dr. Ferraro: We analyzed three large cohorts over time to see if those with prevalent or incident kidney stones might have a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease (fatal or non fatal myocardial infarction or the need for coronary revascularization). The cohorts consisted of over 200,000 participants without any prior history of coronary heart disease. After a median follow-up of over 8 years, we observed that women affected with stones seem to have a greater risk of developing coronary heart disease independent of a number of other known cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes or high blood pressure. We did not observe a significant association among men.
MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?
Dr. Ferraro: Although previous similar studies suggested that women with kidney stones might experience worse clinical outcomes such as diabetes or renal failure compared with men with kidney stones, we are uncertain about the reason for this differential association. Possible explanations include differences in hormonal patterns or in calcium metabolism between men and women.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Ferraro: Both kidney stones and coronary heart disease are frequent conditions in the general population. Even though we do not know with certainty the causal mechanism linking the two conditions, it might be important to recognize that kidney stones might precede the development of coronary heart disease in women. Hence, this information could be useful in order to increase surveillance for risks factors for CHD in such patients.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Ferraro: Future research is warranted in order to look at the causal mechanisms for the observed association and to study potential predictors of worse cardiac outcomes in subgroups of patients with kidney stones.
Ferraro PM, Taylor EN, Eisner BH, et al. History of Kidney Stones and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease. JAMA. 2013;310(4):408-415. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.8780.