How Common are Kidney Stones?

For Patients

If you suspect you have stones, visit your primary care provider or urologist.

If you've been diagnosed with stones and would like to be seen in the Metabolic Stone Clinic, please call (608) 263-4757.

Kidney stones are relatively common and recent research indicates their incidence in the United States is rising over time in both men and women, but most particularly in women. The reason for this increase is not known, but diet and lifestyle factors are considered prime suspects.
The Toll of Kidney Stone Disease
Kidney stone disease affects people in the prime of their lives. Kidney stones can be debilitating and painful, and recurrent stone formation may lead to a decreased quality-of-life, interruptions in work and social commitments, increased utilization of health care, hospitalization, and even kidney damage.
Prevalence of Kidney Stones
The lifetime incidence of kidney stones is nearly 13 percent in men and 7 percent in women. Once an individual has formed a stone, the likelihood of recurrence is 50 percent or greater at five years and up to 80 percent at 10 years. 
  • Inpatient hospital stays: For the year 2000 it is estimated that 177,496 adults 20 years or older were admitted to the hospital with "calculus of kidney and ureters" as a primary diagnosis.
  • Physician office and hospital outpatient visits combined: For the year 2000 there were approximately 2,000,000 visits by adults 20 years and older with "calculus of kidney and ureters" as a listed diagnosis. In the same year there were approximately 2,700,000 visits by adults 20 years and older with "urolithasis listed as diagnosis.
  • Cost: $2.07 billion was expended for evaluation and treatment in the year 2000. 
Source: National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse