And, it is also worth noting that changes to the intestines' microbiome have previously been linked with increased risk of kidney stones.
It is still unknown why kidney stones are on a hike these days but according to the study, consuming antibiotics certainly play a major role when it comes to prescribing them to children more than that of adults.
However, the authors of the new study note that the prevalence of kidney stones has risen by 70 percent in the past 3 decades - particularly among adolescents and young women. The theory is that the drugs wipe out some of the gut bacteria which breaks down oxalate, which is the key component in kidney stones.
Researchers examined the electronic health records of more than 13 million people who sought care in the United Kingdom between 1994 and 2015. For the study, the team analysed prior antibiotic exposure for almost 26,000 patients with kidney stones, compared to almost 260,000 control subjects.
The team found that a total of five classes of oral antibiotics were associated with a diagnosis of kidney stone disease, all of which were taken orally including sulfas, cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, nitrofurantoin, and broad-spectrum penicillins.
Emma Gaal is part of the epidemic of young people, especially girls, who develop kidney stones.
It's estimated that about 30 percent of antibiotic prescriptions are inappropriate. "So if they were prescribed at, say, 15 years of age, the risk was much higher than if it was prescribed later in life", said Dr. Tasian.
"Our findings suggest that antibiotic prescription practices represent a modifiable risk factor", explains lead investigator Dr. Gregory E. Tasian.
Tasian and his colleagues are hoping to expand this research into broader, population-based studies to better understand how variations in microbiome composition may influence the development of kidney stones.