Examining the epidemiology of stone disease can provide insight into etiology. There is a growing body of evidence that stone disease is not simply a disorder of the kidney. In fact, nephrolithiasis is clearly a systemic disorder. Conditions associated with stone disease include the classic ones such as inflammatory bowel disease and primary hyperparathyroidism. More recent studies have demonstrated strong associations with obesity, gout, diabetes and hypertension. Future studies will help uncover the underlying common pathophysiologic abnormalities.

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