A new study finds that exercise helps prevent kidney stones in women.
The study, discussed on Friday May 3 at the American Urological Association conference in San Diego, reveals that even a small amount of exercise can reduce the risk of developing the problem by one third.
"Every little bit makes a difference," said Dr. Matthew Sorensen of the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.
The study on kidney stones in women was conducted by experts from the San Francisco Medical Center, the University of California, Georgetown University and the University of Washington School of Medicine. It involved data from more than 85,000 postmenopausal U.S. women. Physical exams were given, as were annual surveys regarding food consumption. Volunteers also reported their physical activity.
After around eight years, three percent of the women had developed kidney stones. The results showed that those who reported higher levels of exercise had a lower risk of developing the condition.
The researchers emphasize that the important factor in the reduced risk of kidney stones is the amount of exercise, not necessarily the intensity. Lowering high-calorie food consumption can also help.
"Kidney stones are a very common health condition, and as with most health conditions, prevention is key," AUA spokesman Dr. Kevin McVary said in a news release. "While we know diet is one of several factors that can promote or inhibit kidney stone development, this study shows lifestyle changes such as exercise can also help prevent stones from forming in postmenopausal women. Further research is needed to understand if this observation is accurate for other demographics."