Epidemiology of stone disease across the world

World J Urol. 2017 Sep;35(9):1301-1320. doi: 10.1007/s00345-017-2008-6. Epub 2017 Feb 17.


Nephrolithiasis is a highly prevalent disease worldwide with rates ranging from 7 to 13% in North America, 5-9% in Europe, and 1-5% in Asia. Due to high rates of new and recurrent stones, management of stones is expensive and the disease has a high level of acute and chronic morbidity. The goal of this study is to review the epidemiology of stone disease in order to improve patient care. A review of the literature was conducted through a search on Pubmed®, Medline®, and Google Scholar®. This review was presented and peer-reviewed at the 3rd International Consultation on Stone Disease during the 2014 Société Internationale d'Urologie Congress in Glasgow. It represents an update of the 2008 consensus document based on expert opinion of the most relevant studies. There has been a rising incidence in stone disease throughout the world with a narrowing of the gender gap. Increased stone prevalence has been attributed to population growth and increases in obesity and diabetes. General dietary recommendations of increased fluid, decreased salt, and moderate intake of protein have not changed. However, specific recommended values have either changed or are more frequently reported. Geography and environment influenced the likelihood of stone disease and more information is needed regarding stone disease in a large portion of the world including Asia and Africa. Randomized controlled studies are lacking but are necessary to improve recommendations regarding diet and fluid intake. Understanding the impact of associated conditions that are rapidly increasing will improve the prevention of stone disease.

Keywords: Epidemiology; Kidney stones; Nephrolithiasis; Renal calculi; Urolithiasis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Nephrolithiasis / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Urolithiasis / epidemiology