We calculated the prevalence of symptoms typically associated with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome in men in a managed care population in the Pacific Northwest.
A questionnaire mailing to 5,000 male enrollees 25 to 80 years old in the Kaiser Permanente Northwest (Portland, Oregon) health plan was performed. The questionnaires included screening questions about the presence, duration and severity of pelvic pain, and the National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index. Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome symptoms were defined in 2 ways: 1) presence of any of the following for a duration of 3 or more months: pain in the perineum, testicles, tip of penis, pubic or bladder area, dysuria, ejaculatory pain; and 2) perineal and/or ejaculatory pain, and a National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index total pain score of 4 or more. Prevalence estimates were age adjusted to the total Kaiser Permanente Northwest male population.
A total of 1,550 questionnaires were returned. The prevalence of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome symptoms was 7.5% for definition 1 and 5.9% for definition 2. Mean National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index scores were 17 for definitions 1 and 2. Of those with prostatitis-like symptoms, 30% met criteria for having both definitions present. The prevalence of prostatitis-like symptoms using either of the 2 diagnoses was 11.2%.
This population based study indicates that approximately 1 in 9 men have prostatitis-like symptoms. Application of 2 different definitions for prostatitis-like symptoms identified unique groups of men, with limited overlap in the groups.