Background: In Japan, the incidence of kidney stones has increased markedly in recent decades. Major causes of kidney stones remain unclear, and limited data are available on the relationship between overweight/obesity and the incidence of kidney stones. We therefore evaluated body mass index (BMI) and the incidence of kidney stones in Japanese men. Methods: Of the workers at a gas company, 5984 males aged 20-40 years underwent a medical examination in 1985 (baseline). This study includes 4074 of the men, who were free of kidney stones at baseline and underwent a second medical examination performed between April 2004 and March 2005. BMI was calculated from measured height and weight in 1985, and men were categorized into tertiles. The development of kidney stones during followup was based on self-reports from questionnaires at the second medical examination. Results: The average duration of follow-up was 19 years, with 258 participants developing kidney stones during this period. Using the lowest BMI (1st tertile) group as a reference, the hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals [CIs]) for the 2nd and 3rd BMI tertiles were: 1.26 (95% CI, 0.92-1.73) and 1.44 (95% CI, 1.06-1.96), respectively (P for trend = 0.019). After additionally adjusting for potential confounders, such as age, systolic blood pressure, cardiorespiratory fitness, cigarette smoking, and alcohol consumption, the hazard ratios were 1.28 (95% CI, 0.93-1.76) and 1.41 (95% CI, 1.02-1.97), respectively (P for trend = 0.041). Conclusions: These results suggest that increased BMI is a risk factor for kidney stones in Japanese men.
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