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Urol Int. 2002;68(3):172-7.

Epidemiological studies on the prevalence of upper urinary calculi in Taiwan.

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Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan/ROC.



A nationwide survey was conducted to investigate the prevalence of upper urinary calculi in Taiwan.


A postal questionnaire was mailed to 27,758 people, 0.2% of the adults in Taiwan.


Of the 4,588 valid respondents, 440 had at least one episode of upper urinary calculus disease. The overall prevalence was 9.6% (14.5% in males and 4.3% in females). Men were more prone to nephrolithiasis than women (age-adjusted prevalence of 12.2% in men and 3.1% in women, p = 0). The 'stone belt' was localized in the Midwest region of Taiwan. A gender- and age-adjusted multivariate analysis revealed that alcohol consumption and family history of kidney stone were significant risk factors for stone occurrence. Compared with general population, the odds ratios for stone disease in inhabitants whose father, mother and both parents with stone history were 3.44 [95% confidence interval (CI), 2.33-5.07], 4.79 (95% CI, 2.85-8.07) and 10.40 (95% CI, 3.75-28.84), respectively. The subtropical temperature and gradually higher socioeconomic standards of living may contribute to the high prevalence. Inhabitants in the Midwest region have higher risk to develop stones.


Further studies are needed to investigate the exact cause of these regional variations of stone prevalence. Nevertheless, the present study provides an additional piece of information on worldwide epidemiology of urolithiasis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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