A recent study involving 5,000 patients from The Netherlands who were followed for 2 decades suggests when kidney stones are diagnosed at an early age (less than 40 years old) they were significantly associated with an overall increase in risk of developing renal cell carcinoma (RCC) compared to when kidney stones are diagnosed later in life (40 years or older).

The study also showed that the overall risk of RCC was doubled in people who were diagnosed with kidney stones early in their lives compared with those without an early history. Also, the risk of upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) was 1.7 higher in those with an early history of kidney stones compared with those without.

Kidney stones were also associated with an increased risk of papillary RCC, but not clear-cell RCC. However, more research is needed since the number of eligible cases for these analyses was limited.

“In light of the findings of this study, more research is needed to unravel the mechanisms behind the relation[ship] of kidney stones and RCC and UTUC,” wrote the researchers.

The study was published in the British Journal of Cancer