Department of Urology

September 25, 2017

UW Urology participating in national study on preventing recurrent kidney stones

Drink more water, get fewer kidney stones.

That’s the hope of researchers conducting a nationwide clinical trial to get people to drink more water. NIH-funded research at UW Urology will test if financial incentives, coaching and a new “smart” water bottle that tracks consumption will lead to a reduced risk of kidney stones.

In the U.S., incidences of urinary stones has nearly doubled in the past 15 years, affecting about 1 in 11 people. More and more women and children are being affected by stones, whereas in the past stones largely affected men. The American diet, the rise in obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and potentially global warming are all playing a part in this increase, although the most common risk factor remains dehydration. Those who have had a previous stone are at higher risk of re-occurrence.

Kidney stones  are common and it is estimated that the lifetime incidence of developing a stone is in excess of 10%.  Kidney stones occur when substances in the urine become too concentrated and form crystals which can develop into stones.

The smart water bottle, the “Hidrate Spark”, monitors fluid consumption and connects to an app on your phone letting you know when and how much to drink. Researchers hope to use the bottle like a “prescription” for drinking water. Volunteers are being sought to participate in the Prevention of Urinary Stones with Hydration (PUSH) study

Participants must be at least 12 years old, have had at least one symptomatic stone in the past three years, have a low urine amount as measured over 24 hours, and own a smartphone.

To sign up, contact Kati Wilkins at

The UW Medicine is one of four groups taking part. The others are the University of Pennsylvania, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and Washington University in St. Louis.

Dr. Hunter Wessells on Hydration and Kidney Stones

KIRO 7 News Clip on PUSH Study