Nephrolithiasis and risk of hypertension in women

Am J Kidney Dis. 1998 Nov;32(5):802-7. doi: 10.1016/s0272-6386(98)70136-2.


Cross-sectional and prospective studies of men suggest a positive association between nephrolithiasis and hypertension. However, this association remains controversial in women. We conducted a prospective study of the relation between nephrolithiasis and the risk for hypertension in the Nurses' Health Study, a cohort of 89,376 women aged 34 to 59 years in 1980. Information on the history of nephrolithiasis, physician-diagnosed hypertension, and other relevant exposures was obtained by biennial mailed questionnaire. A history of nephrolithiasis before 1980 was reported by 2,558 women (2.9%), and a history of hypertension was reported by 11,883 women (13.3%). Among women without hypertension before 1980, 12,540 women reported a new diagnosis of hypertension between 1980 and 1992, during 711,039 person-years of follow-up. Compared with those without a history of nephrolithiasis, the age-adjusted relative risk (RR) for incident hypertension in women with such a history was 1.36 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.20 to 1.43). After further adjustment for body mass index (BMI) and the intake of calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, caffeine, and alcohol, the RR was only slightly attenuated (RR=1.24; 95% CI, 1.13 to 1.37). In contrast, the occurrence of incident nephrolithiasis during follow-up was similar in women with hypertension at baseline compared with women without (adjusted odds ratio [OR]=1.01; 95% CI, 0.85 to 1.20). These data are consistent with the results obtained in men and support the hypothesis that a history of nephrolithiasis is associated with an increased risk for subsequent hypertension. Dietary factors, such as the intake of calcium, sodium, and potassium, do not explain this association. Unidentified pathogenic mechanisms common to nephrolithiasis and hypertension may be responsible for the development of both disorders.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Body Mass Index
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / etiology*
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Calculi / complications*
  • Kidney Calculi / epidemiology
  • Magnesium / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Potassium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sodium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Potassium, Dietary
  • Sodium, Dietary
  • Caffeine
  • Magnesium