Kidney stones and subclinical atherosclerosis in young adults: The CARDIA study

Alexander P. Reiner, Arnold Kahn, Brian H. Eisner, Mark J. Pletcher, Natalia Sadetsky, O. Dale Williams, Joseph F. Polak, David R. Jacobs, Marshall L. Stoller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Purpose Recent reports suggest that nephrolithiasis and atherosclerosis share a number of risk factors. To our knowledge there has been no previous examination of the relationship between kidney stones and subclinical atherosclerotic disease. We studied the relationship between nephrolithiasis, and carotid wall thickness and carotid stenosis assessed by B-mode ultrasound in the general community using data from the CARDIA study. Materials and Methods The CARDIA study is a United States, population based, observational study of 5,115 white and African-American men and women between the ages of 18 and 30 years at recruitment in 1985 to 1986. Results By the year 20 examination 200 (3.9%) CARDIA participants had reported ever having kidney stones. Symptomatic kidney stones were associated with greater carotid wall thickness measured at the year 20 examination, particularly of the internal carotid/bulb region. Using a composite dichotomous end point of carotid stenosis and/or the upper quartile of internal carotid/bulb wall thickness, the association of kidney stones with carotid atherosclerosis was significant (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.12.3, p = 0.01), even after adjusting for major atherosclerotic risk factors. Conclusions The association between a history of kidney stones and subclinical carotid atherosclerosis in young adults adds further support to the notion that nephrolithiasis and atherosclerosis share common systemic risk factors and/or pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)920-925
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by the CARDIA contract ( N01-HC-48047 – N01-HC-48050 and N01-HC-95095 ), CARDIA Ultrasound Reading Center HHSN268200425204C , and CARDIA Computed Tomography Reading Center N01-HC-05187 and HHSN268200425205C .


  • atherosclerosis
  • urolithiasis


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