HUFFINGTON POST
07/24/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Global Warming May Increase Kidney Stones: Researchers

More Americans are likely to suffer from kidney stones in the coming years as a result of global warming, according to researchers at the University of Texas.

Kidney stones, which are formed from dissolved minerals in the urine and can be extremely painful, are often caused by caused by dehydration, either by not drinking enough liquid or losing too much due to high heat conditions.

If global warming trends continue as projected by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007, the United States can expect as much as a 30 percent growth in kidney stone disease in some of its driest areas, said the findings published in Monday's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The increased incidence of disease would represent between 1.6 million and 2.2 million cases by 2050, costing the US economy as much as one billion dollars in treatment costs.

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