Even though the mechanism through which kidney stones develop is well-known, the disease continues to be a common affliction. In the United States, it is said to affect one out of every eleven people.
Scientists are quite aware of the risk factors relate to it, but as soon as someone passes a kidney stone, it becomes tough to predict if they will experience it again, and if yes, then when.
While some people develop only one episode of this disease, others have recurrences and that too with extreme pain.
While the interventions that can help reduce these recurrences exist, they are quite difficult to maintain. For example, certain lifestyle interventions require people to follow a certain diet which may not be possible in the long run.
Prediction of Kidney Stone Recurrences
A tool has been recently described by the scientists which predict if a person is at risk of remission. The scientists believe that if a person is told about their possible risk of remission, they may put extra effort in preventing it.
For the study, the scientists used information from the Rochester Epidemiology Project, particularly focusing on the chronic kidney stone formers. The data included 3364 people having 4951 episodes of stone formation in total.
By analyzing the people who are at the highest risk of getting recurrences, they spotted a few patterns. For example, the saw that remitters are mostly male, young, and with high BMI.
Previous pregnancies and family history were also some other risk factors associated with recurrences of stones.
Next, the team searched for patterns in the location and size of the stones. They found that people with stones in the lower pole of the kidney are at higher risk of recurrences. Similarly, people with 3-6 mm or greater-sized stones also suffered more recurrences.
Updating the Tool
Previously, the scientists came up with a tool that predicts the likelihood of recurrences of kidney stones with the help of 11 factors. However, they came to know that this tool was not effective for people who already had two or more than two recurrences.
So the authors set out to make the tool more accurate for more people. Their methods have been published and can be found here.
The scientists utilize the data they collected to increase the efficacy of the tool. They included other factors like specific diagnostic information, sex, race, and history of kidney stones in order to judge if recurrences could happen.
The updated tool is said to consist of 13 predictors which are completely independent of each other. The team of the scientists hopes that healthcare professionals will acknowledge this information and utilize it to make their intervention and treatment choices a lot better.
For example, the information can be used by caregivers and patients to decide how important it is to stick to their recommended diet plans.
Once this tool predicts rthe isk of recurrence, a person may show more enthusiasm for adopting preventive measures or taking proper medications to steer clear of future attacks.