World Kidney Day: Case of stones on the increase

Emergency admissions for kidney stonesThe medical terms for kidney stones are calculus of the kidney and calculus of the kidney and ureter (code N20.0 and N20.2 in the HSCIC primary diagnosis 4 character data). For the purpose of this press release we have used the data from these two codes.  increased by 136% in the last 10 years from 5,063 cases in 2003/2004 to 11,937 in 2013/2014.

According to the Natural Hydration Council’s (NHC) analysis of the latest Health and Social Care Information CentreHealth and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) is the national provider of information, data and IT systems for health and social care. data, the increase reflects a wider trend, with a 92% increase in the number of cases being admitted to hospital in England for kidney stones, since 2003/2004.

The analysis, revealed to mark World Kidney Day (12th March) shows an increase in primary admissions to hospital for calculus of the kidney and ureter (the medical term for kidney stones) from 24,864 in 2003/2004 to 47,728 in 2013/2014.

Men are more prone to the painful condition with 63% (32,156) of cases in 2013/2014 being males. Men at most risk are aged between 30 – 60 years oldNHS Choices (2014) Kidney Stones. Available at:

To help combat this, the Natural Hydration Council has launched a hydration and kidney health fact sheet on World Kidney Day, with top tips to support kidney health.

There are several factors which can contribute to kidney stone formation and dehydration is one. Dehydration, especially chronic dehydration, results in the production of urine that has a higher concentration of minerals and waste. This can lead to the formation of crystals that can affect kidney function and contribute to certain kidney diseases.

Professor Tom Sanders, adviser to the Natural Hydration Council and Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at Kings College London said:

“The kidneys act as a purification system for the blood, filtering out and excreting waste products such as urea and uric acid derived from protein metabolism. If urine is too concentrated the solutes precipitate out causing stones. Drinking plenty of fluids reduces the risk of this happening and this is why it is sensible to drink plenty of water throughout the day. What we eat and drink influences whether we get this painful condition: there is good evidence that being overweight or obese increases the riskOxford Stone Group, Epidemiology:

Top tips to support kidney health

  1. Whilst all fluid counts towards your fluid intake, water is one of the healthiest choices when it comes to maintaining kidney healthWorld Kidney Day (2015) Drink a glass of water. Available at (accessed March 3rd 2015) Sontrop JM et al. (2013) Association between water intake, chronic kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease: a cross-sectional analysis of NHANES data. HYPERLINK “” \o “American journal of nephrology.”Am J Nephrol 37(5):434-42.
  2. Sip water little and often
  3. Women should aim to drink eight 200ml glasses of fluid a day, as recommended by the NHS.
  4. Men should aim to drink ten 200ml glasses of fluid a day, as recommended by the NHS.
  5. During warmer weather conditions or when exercising strenuously you may need to drink more water than normal, due to fluid losses through sweating.
  6. Track your urine colour – this should be straw coloured or paler. If it is any darker this, it is an indicator that you could be dehydrated.
  7. Keep a bottle of water handy when you are on the move or exercising.
  8. Kidney Research UK provides further useful diet and lifestyle advice on how to look after your kidneys

For information see our Hydration and Kidney Health fact sheet.


Key statistics taken from Hospital Episode Statistics, Admitted Patient Care, England, 2013-14, Diagnosis, (primary diagnosis 4 character tab in Diagnosis table):

And Hospital Episode Statistics, Admitted Patient Care, England, 2003-2004, primary diagnosis 4 character table:

Published 11 March 2015