Continuing Medical Education

Nephrolithiasis (part 1): Epidemiology, causes and pathogenesis of recurrent nephrolithiasis

A M Meyers, S Naicker


A recent increase in the incidence of recurrent renal calcium oxalate calculi has been demonstrated. Although a few advances have shown that the increase in incidence of these stones is due to genetic causes, it is mostly associated with a change in environmental factors. Global warming and weather changes, some medications administered to young children and eating habits play a pivotal role in increasing stone incidence. By far the most important single factor in stone incidence involves the increased ingestion of red meat and salt. So much so that it is anticipated that calcium oxalate stone occurrence will increase pari passu with dietary changes in the South African black community. The reasons for the difference in the incidence between males and females (12% v. 6%) remain controversial, and should be further studied.

Authors' affiliations

A M Meyers, Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; National Kidney Foundation of South Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa

S Naicker, National Kidney Foundation of South Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Recurrent calcium oxalate nephrolithiasis; Stone epidemiology; Causes of kidney stones; Pathogenesis of calcium oxalate nephrolithiasis

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2021;111(10):930-933. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2021.v111i10.15988

Article History

Date submitted: 2021-10-05
Date published: 2021-10-05

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