Frailty predicts a higher risk of incident urolithiasis in 525 368 patients with diabetes mellitus: A population-based study

Chia Ter Chao, Jui Wang, Jenq Wen Huang, Kuan Yu Hung, Kuo Liong Chien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objective Patients with diabetes have an increased risk for urolithiasis, but the associated risk factors remain an active area of research. We investigated whether frailty influenced the probability of patients with diabetes developing urolithiasis. Research design and methods Using data from the Longitudinal Cohort of Diabetic Patients from 2004 to 2010, we identified those without and with frailty based on a validated, modified FRAIL scale. Patients were followed until they developed urolithiasis, and we used Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazard regression analyses to examine the relationship between frailty, its severity, and the risk of urolithiasis, accounting for demographic profiles, comorbidities, frailty status changes over follow-up, and medications, with risk competition by mortality. Results Among 525 368 patients with diabetes, 64.4% were not frail, while 28.5%, 6.6%, and 0.6% had 1, 2, and ≥3 FRAIL items at baseline. After 4.2 years of follow-up, 13.4% experienced incident urolithiasis. Cox proportional hazard regression analysis showed that patients with diabetes having at least one FRAIL criterion exhibited a significantly higher risk for urolithiasis compared with non-frail patients (for 1, 2, and ≥3 items, hazard ratio (HR)s: 1.04, 1.23, and 1.46; 95% confidence intervals (CIs) 0.99 to 1.09, 1.12 to 1.35, and 1.12 to 1.91, respectively). This increase in urolithiasis risk remained significant if we restricted analyses to renal stones or recurrent urolithiasis as the study outcomes. Conclusions Frailty may pose a risk for incident urolithiasis in patients with diabetes. Treating frailty may potentially reduce their risk for urolithiasis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000755
JournalBMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 13 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • chronic kidney disease
  • diabetes mellitus
  • frail phenotype
  • frailty
  • renal stone
  • urinary stone
  • urolithiasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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