Cleveland Clinic Study: Children With Asthma More Likely to Have Kidney Stones than Children Without Asthma

Study is first to show an association between asthma and kidney stone formation

CLEVELAND: Kidney stones are four-times more likely to occur in children with asthma than children without asthma, according to a new Cleveland Clinic study published online in the medical journal, PLOS ONE.

Similarly, the study found that asthma is four-times more likely to occur in children with kidney stones than children without stones. This is the first study of its kind to find an association between asthma and kidney stone formation.

“While obesity is thought to predispose children to kidney stones, the association between asthma and kidney stones in this study was not related to BMI,” said study co-author Manoj Monga, M.D., director of the Stevan B. Streem Center for Endourology and Stone Disease in Cleveland Clinic’s Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute. “To date, theories regarding kidney stone formation have centered around abnormalities in urinary chemistries. As no differences were identified in this study, alternative links between the two diseases, perhaps involving inflammatory pathways or epithelial dysfunction, will need to be explored.”

Both asthma incidence and kidney stones have been rising in pediatric patients in recent years, and one in three children with kidney stones (under age 12) has asthma.

“These results clearly demonstrate a link between the conditions in a large pediatric population,” said study co-author Serpil Erzurum, M.D., chair of the Lerner Research Institute at Cleveland Clinic and holder of the Alfred Lerner Memorial Chair in Innovative Biomedical Research. “A better understanding of the link between the diseases might uncover new genetic or biochemical pathways and could lead to better interventions to prevent painful stones from developing in pediatric asthma patients.”

The study used data extracted from Cleveland Clinic’s electronic medical records under an International Review Board-approved study. Pediatric asthma and kidney stone patients between the ages of 6 months and 18 years old were identified via diagnosis codes, including information about asthma diagnosis, medications, age, gender, race and BMI. For comparative analysis, a BMI-, age-, and gender-matched cohort of asthma-only patients was compiled.


About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S.News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 49,000 employees are more than 3,400 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 14,000 nurses, representing 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. The Cleveland Clinic health system includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, nine community hospitals, more than 150 northern Ohio outpatient locations – including 18 full-service family health centers and three health and wellness centers – and locations in Weston, Fla.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2015, there were 6.6 million outpatient visits, 164,700 hospital admissions and 208,807 surgical cases throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 180 countries. Visit us at  Follow us at

About the Lerner Research Institute

The Lerner Research Institute (LRI) is home to Cleveland Clinic’s laboratory, translational and clinical research. Its mission is to promote human health by investigating in the laboratory and the clinic the causes of disease and discovering novel approaches to prevention and treatments; to train the next generation of biomedical researchers; and to foster productive collaborations with those providing clinical care. In 2015, LRI researchers published nearly 600 articles in high-impact biomedical journals (top 10% of all biomedical journals).  LRI’s total annual research expenditure was $251 million in 2015 (with $104 million in competitive federal funding). Approximately 1,200 people (including approximately 150 principal investigators, 200 research fellows, and about 100 graduate students) in 12 departments work in research programs focusing on cardiovascular, cancer, neurologic, musculoskeletal, allergic and immunologic, eye, metabolic, and infectious diseases. The LRI has more than 700,000 square feet of lab, office, and scientific core services space. LRI faculty oversee the curriculum and teach students enrolled in the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine (CCLCM) of Case Western Reserve University – training the next generation of physician-scientists. Institute faculty also participate in multiple doctoral programs, including the Molecular Medicine PhD Program, which integrates traditional graduate training with an emphasis on human diseases. The LRI is a significant source of commercial property, generating 54 invention disclosures, 14 licenses, and 76 patents in 2015.

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