The role of sodium intake in nephrolithiasis: epidemiology, pathogenesis, and future directions

Published: 19 July 2016
Author(s): Baris Afsar, Murat C. Kiremit, Alan A. Sag, Kayhan Tarim, Omer Acar, Tarik Esen, Yalcin Solak, Adrian Covic, Mehmet Kanbay
Issue: July 2016
Section: Review Article

The prevalence of nephrolithiasis has doubled over the last decade and the incidence in females now approaches that of males. Since dietary salt is lithogenic, a purported mechanism common to both genders is excess dietary sodium intake vis-a-vis processed and fast foods. Nephrolithiasis has far-reaching societal implications such as impact on gross domestic product due to days lost from work (stone disease commonly affects working adults), population-wide carcinogenic diagnostic and interventional radiation exposure (kidney stone disease is typically imaged with computed tomographic imaging and treated under imaging guidance and follow-up), and rising healthcare costs (surgical treatment will be indicated for a number of these patients).