Mediterranean diet adherence and risk of incident kidney stones

Pietro Manuel Ferraro, Giovanni Gambaro, Adrian Rodriguez, Gary C Curhan, Eric N Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Diet plays an important role in kidney stone formation. Several individual components have been associated with the risk of kidney stone formation, but there is limited evidence regarding the role of healthful dietary patterns. Objective: To prospectively study the association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and the risk of incident kidney stones. Methods: We conducted a longitudinal study using 3 different cohorts: the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (n = 42,902 men), the Nurses' Health Study I (n = 59,994 women), and the Nurses' Health Study II (n = 90,631 women). We assessed diet every 4 y using an FFQ and calculated adherence to a Mediterranean diet using the alternate Mediterranean diet score (aMED). A subgroup of 6077 participants provided ≥1 24-h urine sample, and urinary solute excretion was analyzed. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to examine the independent association between the aMED and incidence of kidney stones, adjusting for potential confounders. We used adjusted linear regression models to study the relation between aMED and urine composition. Results: During 3,316,633 person-years of follow-up, 6576 cases of incident kidney stones were identified. For participants in the highest aMED score category, the risk of developing a kidney stone was between 13% and 41% lower compared with participants in the lowest score (pooled HR: 0.72, 95% CI: 0.59, 0.87; P value for trend <0.001). A higher aMED score was associated with higher urinary citrate, magnesium, oxalate, phosphate, uric acid, volume, and pH, and lower urinary sodium, resulting in lower supersaturation for calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate, and uric acid. Conclusion: Adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of developing a kidney stone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Mediterranean diet
  • cohort studies
  • epidemiology
  • nephrolithiasis
  • nutrition


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