Prevalence of renal uric acid stones in the adult

Alberto Trinchieri, Emanuele Montanari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to estimate uric acid renal stone prevalence rates of adults in different countries of the world. PubMed was searched for papers dealing with “urinary calculi and prevalence or composition” for the period from January 1996 to June 2016. Alternative searches were made to collect further information on specific topics. The prevalence rate of uric acid stones was computed by the general renal stone prevalence rate and the frequency of uric acid stones in each country. After the initial search, 2180 papers were extracted. Out of them, 79 papers were selected after the reading of the titles and of the abstracts. For ten countries, papers relating to both the renal stone prevalence in the general population and the frequency of uric stones were available. Additional search produced 13 papers that completed information on 11 more countries in 5 continents. Estimated prevalence rate of uric acid stones was >0.75% in Thailand, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, South Africa (white population), United States and Australia; ranged 0.50–0.75% in Turkey, Israel, Italy, India (Southern), Spain, Taiwan, Germany, Brazil; and <0.50% in Tunisia, China, Korea, Japan, Caribe, South Africa (blacks), India (Northern). Climate and diet are major determinants of uric acid stone formation. A hot and dry climate increases fluid losses reducing urinary volume and urinary pH. A diet rich in meat protein causes low urinary pH and increased uric acid excretion. On the other hand, uric acid stone formation is frequently associated with obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes type 2 that are linked to dietary energy excess mainly from carbohydrate and saturated fat and also present with low urine pH values. An epidemic of uric acid stone formation could be if current nutritional trends will be maintained both in developed countries and in developing countries and the areas of greater climatic risk for the formation of uric acid stones will enlarge as result of the “global warming”.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-562
Number of pages10
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Climate
  • Diet
  • Epidemiology
  • Uric acid
  • Urinary calculi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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