July 13, 2020

Dietary and lifestyle factors in primary prevention of nephrolithiasis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

B-B Lin et al, 2020. Dietary and lifestyle factors in primary prevention of nephrolithiasis: a systematic review and meta-analysis, BMC Nephrology, Volume 21 (1).


Background: Dietary and lifestyle factors may play an important role in the increasing prevalence of nephrolithiasis. We aimed to review and quantify the associations between lifestyle factors and incident nephrolithiasis and suggest lifestyle changes for the primary prevention of nephrolithiasis.

Methods: PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library were searched up to May 2019, for observational studies and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that assessed modifiable lifestyle factors and risk of nephrolithiasis in adults. Pooled relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were computed using a random effects model. The I2 statistic was employed to evaluate heterogeneity. Subgroup analysis, sensitivity analysis and meta-regression were also conducted whenever possible.

Results: Fifty relevant articles with 1,322,133 participants and 21,030 cases in total were identified. Prominent risk factors for incident stones were body mass index (1.39,1.27-1.52), dietary sodium (1.38, 1.21-1.56), fructose, meat, animal protein, and soda. In contrast, protective factors included fluid intake (0.55, 0.51-0.60), a Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) style diet (0.69, 0.64-0.75), alcohol (0.69, 0.56-0.85), water, coffee, tea, vegetables, fruits, dietary fiber, dietary calcium (0.83, 0.76-0.90), and potassium. Vitamin D (1.22, 1.01-1.49) and calcium (1.16, 1.00-1.35) supplementation alone increased the risk of stones in meta-analyses of observational studies, but not in RCTs, where the cosupplementation conferred significant risk.

Conclusions: Several modifiable factors, notably fluid intake, dietary patterns, and obesity, were significantly associated with nephrolithiasis. Long-term RCTs are required to investigate the cost-effectiveness of dietary patterns for stone prevention. The independent and combined effects of vitamin D and calcium supplementation on nephrolithiasis need further elucidation.

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