Previous studies assumed a uniform relationship between heat and kidney stone presentations. Determining whether sex and other characteristics modify the temperature dependence of kidney stone presentations has implications for explaining differences in nephrolithiasis prevalence and improving projections of the effect of climate change on nephrolithiasis. We performed an aggregated case-crossover study among 132,597 children and adults who presented with nephrolithiasis to 68 emergency departments throughout South Carolina from 1997 to 2015. We used quasi-Poisson regression with distributed lag non-linear models to estimate sex differences in the cumulative exposure and lagged response between maximum daily wet-bulb temperatures and emergent kidney stone presentations, aggregated at the ZIP-code level. We also explored interactions by age, race, payer, and climate. Compared to 10 °C, daily wet-bulb temperatures at the 99th percentile were associated with a greater increased relative risk (RR) of kidney stone presentations over 10 days for males (RR 1.73; 95% CI 1.56, 1.91) than for females (RR 1.15; 95% CI 1.01, 1.32; interaction P < 0.001). The shape of the lagged response was similar for males and females, with the greatest risk estimated for the 2 days following high temperatures. There were weak differences by age, race, and climatic zone, and no differences by payer status. The estimated risk of presenting emergently with kidney stones within 10 days of high daily wet-bulb temperatures was substantially greater among men than women, and similar between patients with public and private insurance. These findings suggest that the higher risk among males may be due to sexually dimorphic physiologic responses rather than greater exposure to ambient temperatures.

Urolithiasis. 2019 Mar 21 [Epub ahead of print]

Ana M Vicedo-Cabrera, David S Goldfarb, Robert E Kopp, Lihai Song, Gregory E Tasian

Department of Public Health, Environments and Society, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, England, WC1E 7HT, UK., Division of Nephrology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, 10016, USA., Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Institute of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901, USA., Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA., Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA. .