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The impact of heat on kidney stone presentations in SC under two climate change scenarios

Jan 10, 2022

The impact of heat on kidney stone presentations in South Carolina under two climate change scenarios

Jason Kaufman, Ana M. Vicedo-Cabrera, Vicky Tam, Lihai Song, Ethan Coffel, Gregory Tasian

Nature, January 2022

Ethan Coffel

Ethan Coffel

The risk of kidney stone presentations increases after hot days, likely due to greater insensible water losses resulting in more concentrated urine and altered urinary flow. It is thus expected that higher temperatures from climate change will increase the global prevalence of kidney stones if no adaptation measures are put in place. This study aims to quantify the impact of heat on kidney stone presentations through 2089, using South Carolina as a model state. We used a time series analysis of historical kidney stone presentations (1997–2014) and distributed lag non-linear models to estimate the temperature dependence of kidney stone presentations, and then quantified the projected impact of climate change on future heat-related kidney stone presentations using daily projections of wet-bulb temperatures to 2089, assuming no adaptation or demographic changes. Two climate change models were considered—one assuming aggressive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (RCP 4.5) and one representing uninibited greenhouse gas emissions (RCP 8.5). The estimated total statewide kidney stone presentations attributable to heat are projected to increase by 2.2% in RCP 4.5 and 3.9% in RCP 8.5 by 2085–89 (vs. 2010–2014), with an associated total excess cost of ~ $57 million and ~ $99 million, respectively.