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Impact of Delaying Treatment for Kidney Stones

New Orleans, LA, May 16, 2015 — Delaying treatment of kidney stones could lead to increased costs and patient morbidity, according to a new study presented during the 110th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA). Howard L. Adler MD, associate professor of Urology and medical director of the Prostate Care Program at Stony Brook Medicine, Stony Brook, NY, will moderate the session for media during a special press conference at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA, on May 16, 2015 at 4 p.m. CT.

Kidney stones are one of the most common problems of the urinary system andaffect up to 12 percent of the American population. With more than one million people expected to be diagnosed with a stone this year, kidney stone attacks are responsible for two million healthcare provider and 600,000 emergency room visits each year. As the prevalence of kidney stones has increased over the last decade, so has the need for surgery to treat them. This is particularly taxing on publically-funded hospitals, with limited resources, as intermediary treatment options to stabilize the patient may be required until definitive treatment, such as surgery, can occur.

Study Details
Publication Number: MP75-15

Examining billing records from 2011-2013, researchers from the University of Texas, Southwestern in Dallas, TX, sought to better understand the impact, time from diagnosis to treatment, has on a patient’s condition and healthcare resource utilization. Researchers identified 795 people who underwent surgery for kidney stones over the two-year study period. The study found that longer time intervals between diagnosis and treatment of kidney stones is associated with increased patient morbidity and more frequent use of imaging studies and antibiotics. Further findings from the study period showed:

  • The median time from diagnosis to surgery was 79 days.
  • Patients treated more than 45 days following diagnosis were 15.2 times more likely to have an unplanned clinic visit; 3.6 times more likely to have an unplanned emergency room visit; 5.7 times more likely to have additional imaging studies performed and 5.4 times more likely to have a positive urine culture requiring antibiotics, compared to patients treated within 45 days of initial diagnosis.
  • Between the time of kidney stone diagnosis to the time of surgery, 54 percent of patients had unplanned emergency room or clinic visits, including 11 percent of patients who required hospital admission.

“These data underscore the importance of prompt attention and treatment of patients presenting with kidney stones,” said Dr. Adler. “Delays in treatment not only complicates cases, but impacts the quality of patient care and boosts healthcare costs.”

NOTE TO REPORTERS: Experts are available to discuss this study outside normal briefing times. To arrange an interview with an expert, please contact the AUA Communications Office at 443-909-0839 or email cfrey@AUAnet.org

About the American Urological Association: The 110th Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association takes place May 15-19 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA.

Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is a leading advocate for the specialty of urology, and has more than 21,000 members throughout the world. The AUA is a premier urologic association, providing invaluable support to the urologic community as it pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care through education, research and the formulation of health policy.

Christine Frey, AUA