Does quality of drinking water matter in kidney stone disease: A study in West Bengal, India

Investig Clin Urol. 2018 May;59(3):158-165. doi: 10.4111/icu.2018.59.3.158. Epub 2018 Apr 24.


Purpose: The combined interaction of epidemiology, environmental exposure, dietary habits, and genetic factors causes kidney stone disease (KSD), a common public health problem worldwide. Because a high water intake (>3 L daily) is widely recommended by physicians to prevent KSD, the present study evaluated whether the quantity of water that people consume daily is associated with KSD and whether the quality of drinking water has any effect on disease prevalence.

Materials and methods: Information regarding residential address, daily volume of water consumption, and source of drinking water was collected from 1,266 patients with kidney stones in West Bengal, India. Drinking water was collected by use of proper methods from case (high stone prevalence) and control (zero stone prevalence) areas thrice yearly. Water samples were analyzed for pH, alkalinity, hardness, total dissolved solutes, electrical conductivity, and salinity. Average values of the studied parameters were compared to determine if there were any statistically significant differences between the case and control areas.

Results: We observed that as many as 53.6% of the patients consumed <3 L of water daily. Analysis of drinking water samples from case and control areas, however, did not show any statistically significant alterations in the studied parameters. All water samples were found to be suitable for consumption.

Conclusions: It is not the quality of water, rather the quantity of water consumed that matters most in the occurrence of KSD.

Keywords: Drinking; Environment; Hardness; Kidney calculi; Water quality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Drinking Water / administration & dosage*
  • Drinking Water / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Kidney Calculi / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Water / chemistry*


  • Drinking Water
  • Water