K

idney stones are on the rise, and they’re plaguing more women, children, and African-Americans.

One of the biggest increases was among kids, where cases have jumped an average of 4.7 percent per year lately, according to an analysis published Thursday in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. The study looked at 150,000 kidney stone patients in South Carolina between 1997 and 2012.

That rise in kids with kidney stones is concerning because doctors aren’t used to treating such young patients for the condition, the authors said.

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The study authors couldn’t pinpoint reasons for the rise. “This study highlights the need for more research to understand why stones are forming earlier in life and in groups of patients in whom stones were once rare,” lead researcher Dr. Gregory Tasian of University of Pennsylvania said.

Kidney stone cases jumped 16 percent across the board during that time span, according to the study, with women under 25 suffering from the painful condition more often than men. After age 25, kidney stones become more common in men.

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