By Robert Preidt
"We know in men that if you have a kidney stone, you are more likely to have osteoporosis," said corresponding author Dr. Laura Carbone, chief of rheumatology at the Medical College of Georgia, in Augusta.
"We were trying to find out if that is also the case for women. We found that, unlike what has been reported in men, a woman having a kidney stone is not a risk factor for osteoporosis," she explained in a college news release.
"However, having one urinary tract stone does put women at increased risk for a second stone," Carbone added.
In this study, researchers analyzed data from about 150,000 postmenopausal women in the U.S. National Institutes of Health's Women's Health Initiative study. While there was no link between kidney/bladder stones and osteoporosis, women who had one of these stones had a 15 percent increased risk of subsequent stones.
The study was published online recently in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.
Study co-author Dr. Monique Bethel said the researchers want women and their physicians to have this information.
"If the two relate, and a patient who has not been screened for osteoporosis comes to the office with a kidney stone, her physician might have been concerned she also has a higher risk for osteoporosis," Bethel, a research resident, said in the news release. "Our studies indicate she likely does not."
Osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disease, affects millions of Americans. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, about one in two women and up to one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis.
Urinary-tract stones are also common, especially in women, the researchers said. Low fluid intake and a high-salt, high-calorie diet increase the odds of developing stones, they explained.