The impact of the number of lifetime stone events on quality of life: results from the North American Stone Quality of Life Consortium

Urolithiasis. 2021 Aug;49(4):321-326. doi: 10.1007/s00240-020-01238-y. Epub 2021 Jan 6.


To evaluate the impact of chronic stone recurrence on an individual's quality of life using the validated Wisconsin Stone Quality of Life (WISQOL) questionnaire. We collected cross-sectional data on patients with kidney stones from 14 institutions in North America. A stone event was defined as renal colic, stone-related procedure or emergency department visit. The regression analyses using general linear models and pairwise comparison determined the impact of the number of stone events on quality of life. The median number of stone events among the 2205 patients who completed the questionnaire was 3 (IQR 1-6). The mean total score was 107.4 ± 28.7 (max 140 points). The number of lifetime stone events was an independent predictor of lower quality of life (p < 0.001), specifically, score declined significantly beyond five events. Compared with patients who experienced a single stone event, there was a 0.4, 2.5, and 6.9 point decline in the adjusted mean WISQOL score after 2-5, 6-10, or > 10 events, respectively. The cumulative number of lifetime stone events was associated with a lower quality of life when more than five stone events were occurred. These findings underscore the importance of efforts to determine the underlying metabolic etiology of urolithiasis in the recurrent stone former, and the institution of a regimen to place their stone disease in remission.

Keywords: Kidney calculi; Quality of life; Surveys and questionnaires.