Prevalence of kidney stones in China: an ultrasonography based cross-sectional study

BJU Int. 2017 Jul;120(1):109-116. doi: 10.1111/bju.13828. Epub 2017 Mar 21.


Objectives: To investigate the prevalence and associated factors of kidney stones among adults in China.

Subjects and methods: A nationwide cross-sectional survey was conducted among individuals aged ≥18 years across China, from May 2013 to July 2014. Participants underwent urinary tract ultrasonographic examinations, completed pre-designed and standardised questionnaires, and provided blood and urine samples for analysis. Kidney stones were defined as particles of ≥4 mm. Prevalence was defined as the proportion of participants with kidney stones and binary logistic regression was used to estimate the associated factors.

Results: A total of 12 570 individuals (45.2% men) with a mean (sd, range) age of 48.8 (15.3, 18-96) years were selected and invited to participate in the study. In all, 9310 (40.7% men) participants completed the investigation, with a response rate of 74.1%. The prevalence of kidney stones was 6.4% [95% confidence interval (CI) 5.9, 6.9], and the age- and sex-adjusted prevalence was 5.8% (95% CI 5.3, 6.3; 6.5% in men and 5.1% in women). Binary logistic regression analysis showed that male gender, rural residency, age, family history of urinary stones, concurrent diabetes mellitus and hyperuricaemia, increased consumption of meat, and excessive sweating were all statistically significantly associated with a greater risk of kidney stones. By contrast, consumption of more tea, legumes, and fermented vinegar was statistically significantly associated with a lesser risk of kidney stone formation.

Conclusion: Kidney stones are common among Chinese adults, with about one in 17 adults affected currently. Some Chinese dietary habits may lower the risk of kidney stone formation.

Keywords: cross-sectional study; kidney stones; prevalence; ultrasonography.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Kidney Calculi / diagnostic imaging*
  • Kidney Calculi / epidemiology
  • Kidney Calculi / prevention & control
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Ultrasonography*
  • Young Adult