WEDNESDAY JULY 16, 2008 (foodconsumer.org) -- It seems we
have not gotten enough problems with global warming.
A new study suggests that the global climate
change that has led to Al Gore winning a Nobel Prize would expose more people in
the United States to the risk of suffering kidney stones.
The study showed that as global warming continues, the U.S.
kidney stone belt, the fraction of the U.S. population living in the high-risk
zones for the condition, would slowly expand from 40% in 2000 to 56% by 2050
and to 70% by 2095.
The study was published online on July 14, 2008 in the
prestigious scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science
of the United States of America.
The predictions, by Tom H. Brikowski at the University of
Texas at Dallas and colleagues, were based on a climate model of intermediate
The results also indicate a climate-related increase of
1.6-2.2 million lifetime cases of kidney stones by 2050, representing up to a
30% increase in some climate regions.
The researchers said the increase in the number of kidney
would lead to a 25% increase
in medical expenditures or $0.9 to 1.3 billion each year.
They predicted that by 2050, most affected geographic band stretching
from Kansas to Kentucky and Northern California, immediately south of the
Continued global warming has already been known to cause a
number of adverse effects including coastal and river flooding, snow pack
declines and reduced Summer River flows.
Kidney stones, also known as renal calculi, nephrolithiasis,
and stones-kidney, form when the urine contains too much of certain
Calcium oxalate forms the
most common type of kidney stones accounting for 80% of all kidney stones.
A health observer affiliated with foodconsumer.org suggested
that increased climate temperature would certainly be a potential factor that
promotes the formation of kidney stones, but the condition can be easily
He said drinking more water would easily overcome the global
In addition, because calcium
oxalate crystal is formed when the urine pH falls below 6.0, increased intake
of green vegetables and reduced intake of protein-rich meats would reduce the
incidence of kidney stones regardless of the global warming status.
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