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Another climate ailment

Rising temperatures mean more kidney stones

4:02pm, July 14, 2008

Global warming may turn out to be more than just a pain in the neck: Rising average temperatures might trigger an increased prevalence of kidney stones.

About 12 percent of men and 7 percent of women in the United States will be stricken during their lifetime with symptoms of a kidney stone, which forms when minerals dissolved in urine crystallize somewhere in the kidney or urinary tract.

One of the primary causes of these painful deposits is low urine volume, brought about either by low fluid intake or by increased fluid loss, says Margaret S. Pearle, a urologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Although people in all parts of the nation can suffer kidney stones, the ailment is much more common in some regions than in others.

Prevalence of stones in the Southeast is as much as 50 percent higher than it is the Northwest, Pearle says. Urologists have long known of

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