USDRN receives additional funding for study of kidney stones

October 4, 2018 – The award from NIDDK will support the DCRI’s Scientific Data Research Center for the USDRN.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) has awarded an additional $1.3 million over three years to the DCRI’s Charles Scales, MD, and Hussein Al-Khalidi, PhD, to support the Prevention of Urinary Stones with Hydration (PUSH) trial.

The PUSH study is a randomized trial that will enroll 1,642 people, half in an intervention group and half in a control group. The study’s primary aim is to determine whether use of a “smart” water bottle to stay hydrated, along with a program of financial incentives and health coaching, will result in reduced risk of urinary stone (also known as kidney stone) recurrence over a two-year period.

Kidney stones are small, hard mineral deposits that form inside the kidneys and can cause kidney damage and excruciating pain. Kidney stones affect about 1 out of 11 Americans. The prevalence of kidney stones among Americans has nearly doubled in the last 15 years, and is increasing in both adults and children.

According to the NIDDK, kidney stones cost an estimated $10 billion each year, making them the most expensive non-malignant urologic condition in the United States. A recent study estimates that the impact of obesity, diabetes and population rates will increase costs of kidney stones by $1.24 billion a year by 2030.

The PUSH study is being conducted through the Urinary Stone Disease Research Network (USDRN), a network of scientists and investigators conducting research on kidney stones in adults and children in order to learn more about who forms kidney stones, the best treatments, and how to prevent stones from forming.

PUSH is currently enrolling at four clinical centers: the University of Pennsylvania/Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, the University of Washington in Seattle, and Washington University in St. Louis. The DCRI serves as the network’s Scientific Data Research Center, led by Scales and Al-Khalidi.

“I am grateful for the mentoring and outstanding research environment at Duke, which makes everything I do possible,” Scales said.