Right-wing fears of Barack Obama have nothing on left-wing fears of global warming. Bloomberg News reports the latest: global warming may lead to more kidney stones. Adam Satariano summarizes the research:
More Americans may develop kidney stones as global warming raises the risk of dehydration, according to a study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Warmer temperatures predicted by climate scientists may lead to a 30 percent increase in kidney stone cases in some U.S. regions, researchers at the University of Texas wrote in the study published today. That would result in a $1 billion increase in annual treatment costs by 2050, they said.
The researchers don’t factor in the efficiencies that will be achieved by government control of the health care system by 2050. Surely kidney stones will not be a treatable condition by then. Bloomberg further explains the projected increase of kideny stones by reference to “the kidney stone belt,” formerly known somewhat more genially as the Sun Belt:
Higher temperatures may lead to more dehydration and expand the “kidney stone belt,” an area of the Southeast U.S. where men are twice as likely to develop the disease compared with the Northeast, according to the study.
“It’s pretty well established that the prevalence of kidney stones increases with annual average temperatures,” lead author Tom Brikowski, associate professor of geosciences at the University of Texas at Dallas, said in an interview.
Fortunately, preventive measures will not present a great public health challenge to the post-Obama health care system. The article cites urologist Margaret Pearle for the proposition that drinking water is the best way to prevent kidney stones. On the other hand, researchers appear not to have factored in the climate correction that may be effected by Obama’s election to the presidency.
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