Worldwide Impact of Warmer Seasons on the Incidence of Renal Colic and Kidney Stone Disease: Evidence from a Systematic Review of Literature

J Endourol. 2017 Aug;31(8):729-735. doi: 10.1089/end.2017.0123. Epub 2017 May 1.


Introduction: Several studies have examined the link between temperature or monthly seasonal variations and urolithiasis. The majority of these studies have demonstrated a link between higher ambient monthly temperatures and the incidence of renal colic and kidney stone disease (KSD). However, a worldwide trend on this association has not been explored and we perform a systematic review to examine the effect of seasonal variations on renal colic and KSD.

Materials and methods: A systematic review of the literature for a 26-year period (1990-2017) was conducted on all studies reporting on the effect of seasonal variations and its link to KSD. Two reviewers independently extracted the data from each study, which were analyzed using SPSS version 24.

Results: A total of 59 studies were identified, and after screening, 13 were included in this review. The studies ranged in duration from 1 to 9 years (mean: 5.5 years) and included seasonal/monthly variations for proven stones or lithotripsy treatments or emergency department presentations with renal colic. Except for one study, there was a statistically significant association between higher monthly mean temperatures and the incidence of KSD-related events reported from the United Kingdom, South Korea, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Spain, Taiwan, Japan, and New Zealand.

Conclusions: Worldwide trends on the incidence of renal colic and KSD seem be affected by seasonal variation favoring warmer months, with data suggesting that higher ambient temperature has an association with KSD.

Keywords: climate; dehydration; kidney; stone; trend; ureteroscopy; urolithiasis; weather; worldwide.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Climate*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Japan
  • Kidney Calculi / epidemiology*
  • Lithotripsy
  • Male
  • New Zealand
  • Regression Analysis
  • Renal Colic / epidemiology*
  • Republic of Korea
  • Seasons*
  • Taiwan
  • Temperature
  • United Kingdom
  • Urolithiasis