Objectives: Urinary hippuric acid (HA) and citrate can represent useful biomarkers of fruit and vegetable (FAV) intake in nephrolithiasis. However, their clinical significance across the life span has been poorly investigated. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between the two biomarkers with FAV intake across different age groups and sexes in a large group of stone formers (SFs). Methods: SFs undergoing baseline 24-h urinary collection for metabolic profile of lithogenic risk at our institution were consecutively enrolled for a 6-y time span (N = 1185; 625 men). HA and citrate excretions were determined by ion chromatography and ultraviolet method, respectively. SFs completed a food frequency questionnaire on the intake of FAV. Stepwise logistic regression was applied to investigate factors associated with very low FAV (≤1 servings/d) and analysis of covariance to compare citrate and HA excretion across age groups and sexes. Results: Very low FAV intake prevalence declined with age (Ptrend < 0.001), and was inversely associated with HA and citrate excretion (P < 0.001) in a stepwise logistic regression model. A significant increasing trend was verified for both biomarkers across age groups until the age of 65 for HA (P < 0.001) and 55 for citrate (P < 0.001). Citrate excretion significantly declined after the age of 65, and was higher in women than men in adult age groups, regardless of FAV intake. Conclusions: Both urinary citrate and HA were positively associated with FAV intake in SFs. However, unlike HA, citrate excretion was significantly influenced by the female sex and by older age.
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