MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Monique Bethel, MD
Subspecialty Service, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center,
Department of Medicine, Section of Rheumatology
Georgia Regents University
MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study?
Dr. Bethel: Osteoporosis and kidney stones share several risk factors, including elevated calcium in the urine (hypercalciuria), low potassium intake, and possibly, diets high in sodium. Accordingly, several studies have shown a significant relationship between kidney stones and osteoporosis in men. However, it is unclear if this relationship is also true for women. Previous studies examining this association have been small and inconclusive. With the Women’s Health Initiative, we had data available from approximately 150,000 postmenopausal women in the US. Using this database, we were able to study the relationship between kidney stones and changes in bone mineral density and fractures.
MedicalResearch: What are the main findings?
Dr. Bethel: We found no association between the presence of kidney stones and changes in bone mineral density over time at the hip, lumbar spine, or the whole body. Also, there was no association between the presence of kidney stones and fractures. We also found that 14% of women who had a history of kidney stones upon entering the studies had another one occur during the course of the study (approximately 8 years).
MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Bethel: The bottom line is that unlike what we see in men, kidney stones do not increase the risk for osteoporosis or fractures in postmenopausal women. However, women with a kidney stone are at significant risk for another stone, therefore, clinicians should advise these patients on risk reduction measures to prevent future kidney stones.
MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Bethel: Our findings only relate to postmenopausal women; in premenopausal females an association may exist. Additionally, the urine calcium levels of WHI participants was not available, and in the subset of women with kidney stones and hypercalciuria an association may exist. Future studies may be able to address these questions.
Monique Bethel, MD (2015). No Association Between Kidney Stone and Osteoporosis or Fractures in Women