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Global Warming Means More Kidney Stones

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In the rush of recent events we somehow overlooked this press release from the American Urological Association:


Global Warming May Lead to Increase in Kidney Stones Disease

Mon 14-Jul-2008

ORLANDO, FL, May 20, 2008 –Rising global temperatures could lead to an increase in kidney stones, according to research presented today at the 103rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA). Dehydration has been linked to stone disease, particularly in warmer climates, and global warming will exacerbate this effect. As a result, the prevalence of stone disease may increase, along with the costs of treating the condition. Researchers presented data to reporters in a special press conference on May 20, 2008 at 8:00 a.m.

Using published data to determine the temperature-dependence of stone disease, researchers applied predictions of temperature increase to determine the impact of global warming on the incidence and cost of stone disease in the United States. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicates a 1-20 C increase in temperature by 2050 for much of the United States. These findings place a greater significance on the harmful effects of global warming, an ongoing economic and political issue.

The southern United States is considered “the stone belt” because these states have higher incidences of kidney stones. Rising global temperatures could expand this region; the fraction of the U.S. population living in high-risk stone zones is predicted to grow from 40 percent in 2000 to 50 percent by 2050. This could lead to an increase of one to two million lifetime cases of stone disease. The impact of climate-related changes in stone disease will be non-uniformly distributed and likely concentrated in the southern half of the country (linear model) or upper Midwest (non-linear model). The cost associated with treating stone disease could climb as high as one $1 billion annually by 2050, representing a 10-20 percent increase over present-day estimates.

Why not? Everything else is now said to be affected by ‘climate change.’ Why not put kidney stones on the pile?

It is certainly one sure way to get some attention. However mocking.

Dehydration has been linked to stone disease, particularly in warmer climates, and global warming will exacerbate this effect.

Oh, and never mind that other similarly “scientific” studies have claimed global warming will mean more humidity and wetter conditions.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, July 16th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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