A case-control study on food insecurity among patients with kidney stones

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Background: Kidney stone is a multifactorial disease with a worldwide distribution. Dietary factors can affect urine composition and have a role in modulating the risk of kidney stones. Food insecurity is defined as lack of access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food for a healthy life. Due to the lack of research about relationship between food insecurity and kidney stones in Iran, this study aimed to compare food insecurity among kidney stone patients and control subjects without kidney stones.

Methods: This case-control study was conducted on 35 patients with kidney stones and 35 patients as controls from Kish Hospital in 2015. A general questionnaire and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) food security questionnaire were used to assess demographics and food security level of study participants

Results: Mean age of cases and control group was 39.28±10.88, and 37.37±11.89, years respectively. 65.7% from cases and 40% from control group were male. In relation to the ethnicity, there was significant difference between two group (p= 0.001). There were no significantly different between cases and controls group in education, marital status and BMI (p< 0.05). Final score of USDA questionnaire, in case significantly higher compared with the control group 5.71±6.7 and 2.85±3.30, respectively, (p< 0.05).

Conclusion: In summary, food insecurity have become more prevalent among patients patients with kidney stones. More prospective studies in this field are needed.


Kidney stone disease (nephrolithiasis) is a multifactorial disease and its prevalence is increasing. Despite significant advances in understanding the causes of kidney stones in recent years, there are many questions about its pathogenesis that remained unanswered (1). Kidney stone composition consist of crystals and proteins. Many solutes in urine can play a role in lithogenesis and making different types of kidney stones including calcareous an uric acid stones (2).Dietary factors can affect composition of urine and have a role in modulating the risk of kidney stones. With the increasing prevalence of kidney stones in most industrial societies the effects o  improving diet to improve the risk and prevention of kidney stones has found a new importance (3).

Food insecurity definition is lack of  trusty access to enough, safe and nutritious food necessities for having a healthy living (4). According related studies in this field,  learning about risk factors such as demographic factors, consumption of fruits and vegetables and other related factors is important(5).

Our review have shown that there is no studies about kidney stone and food insecurity in Iran. The present study, therefore, was performed to determine the association between food insecurity and kidney stones in a hospital-based case-control study.


According to this study, it was found that patients with kidney stones, significantly were in the state of more severe food insecurity than the control group. This was also a significant relationship to ethnicity while the other study’s variables such as level of education, marital status, height, weight and BMI, it was not found such a relationship .



We thank Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences and the participants, without whom this study would not have been possible.



Funding/Support: This study is part of M.Sc. thesis for Parisa Parvizi which was financially supported by grant: for Research Affairs of Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences.



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