Loading icon
Press enter or spacebar to select a desired language.
Health Information Center

Risk Factors for Kidney Stones

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Risk Factors for Kidney Stones

A risk factor is something that raises the chances of getting a health problem. A person can get kidney stones with or without the ones listed below. The chances of getting them are greater in people who have many.

Kidney stones are more common in people who have had them before. They also tend to run in families.

The chances of kidney stones are also higher for people who:

  • Had stones when they were a child
  • Had certain types of stones, such as uric acid or those caused by an infection
  • Have certain problems with their genes that make stone formation easier
  • Take certain medicines, such as allopurinol, penicillin, vitamin C, or loop diuretics
  • Do not drink enough fluids—this may be more of a problem in warm climates
  • Have high intakes of:
    • Oxalates—found in berries, spinach, rhubarb, chocolate, or tea
    • Salt
    • Calcium—can also happen with not getting enough calcium
    • Vitamins C and D
  • Have certain health problems, such as gout, obesity, insulin resistance, or an overactive parathyroid gland


  • Kidney stones. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/kidneystones.
  • Kidney stones. Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/k/kidney-stones.
  • Nephrolithiasis in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/nephrolithiasis-in-adults-24.


  • Mark S. Itzkowitz, MD, JD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.