Every year, over 500,000 people in the United States head to emergency rooms and are diagnosed with kidney stones. An estimated 10% of the world's population will experience a kidney stone in their lifetime. The occurrence of kidney stones is becoming more and more frequent. In the 1970's, fewer than 4% of people in the U.S. reported having kidney stones. By the 1990's, it escalated to more than 5% and these numbers have continued to grow.
Kidney stones are most common between the ages of 20 and 50. Caucasians are more likely to develop kidney stones than African Americans. Males generally tend to develop stones more often than women. Other diseases have been shown to increase the likelihood of developing a kidney stone, including heart diseases, diabetes, obesity, and kidney cysts, among others. Only 1 in 4 reports of stones come from families with a previous history. Doctors are warning parents about the increases in childhood kidney stones that have occurred in recent years. After undergoing bariatric surgery, the chance of kidney stones increases, as levels of oxalate tend to be higher after the procedure. Calcium oxalate is a large part in most kidney stones.
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