Objective To investigate whether the presence of kidney stones increase the risk of end stage renal disease (ESRD) or other adverse renal outcomes.
Design A registry cohort study using validated algorithms based on claims and facility utilisation data. Median follow-up of 11 years.
Setting Alberta, Canada, between 1997 and 2009.
Participants 3089194 adult patients without ESRD at baseline or a history of pyelonephritis. Of these, 1954836 had outpatient serum creatinine measurements and were included in analyses of chronic kidney disease and doubling of serum creatinine level.
Exposure One or more kidney stones during follow-up.
Main outcome measures Incident ESRD, development of stage 3b–5 chronic kidney disease (estimated glomerular filtration rate <45 mL/min/1.73m2), and sustained doubling of serum creatinine concentration from baseline.
Results 23706 (0.8%) patients had at least one kidney stone, 5333 (0.2%) developed ESRD, 68525 (4%) developed stage 3b–5 chronic kidney disease, and 6581 (0.3%) experienced sustained doubling of serum creatinine. Overall, one or more stone episodes during follow-up was associated with increased risk of ESRD (adjusted hazard ratio 2.16 (95% CI 1.79 to 2.62)), new stage 3b–5 chronic kidney disease (hazard ratio 1.74 (1.61 to 1.88)), and doubling of serum creatinine (hazard ratio 1.94 (1.56 to 2.43)), all compared with those without kidney stones during follow-up. The excess risk of adverse outcomes associated with at least one episode of stones seemed greater in women than in men, and in people aged <50 years than in those aged ≥50. However, the risks of all three adverse outcomes in those with at least one episode of stones were significantly higher than in those without stones in both sexes and age strata. The absolute increase in the rate of adverse renal outcomes associated with stones was small: the unadjusted rate of ESRD was 2.48 per million person days in people with one or more episodes of stones versus 0.52 per million person days in people without stones.
Conclusion Even a single kidney stone episode during follow-up was associated with a significant increase in the likelihood of adverse renal outcomes including ESRD. However, the increases were small in absolute terms.