We determined the prevalence of symptoms suggestive of chronic pelvic pain syndrome in an urban population and assessed associations with lower urinary tract symptoms and erectile dysfunction.
Men participating in a voluntary health examination free of charge that was organized by the Department of Preventive Health of the City of Vienna were analyzed. All participants completed 3 validated questionnaires on chronic pelvic pain syndrome (National Institutes of Health-Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index), lower urinary tract symptoms (International Prostate Symptom Score) and erectile dysfunction (International Index of Erectile Function-5).
A total of 1,765 men with a mean +/- SD age of 46.3 +/- 0.3 years (range 20 to 79) entered this study. The mean National Institutes of Health-Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index score increased from 4.0 +/- 0.3 in the youngest age group of 20 to 29-year-old men to 6.3 +/- 0.6 in those 70 to 79 years old. The overall prevalence of symptoms suggestive of chronic pelvic pain syndrome, defined by a pain score of 4 or greater and perineal/ejaculatory pain, was 2.7% and it revealed no age dependence, such as the pain score. In contrast, urinary symptom and quality of life scores increased with age. International Index of Erectile Function-5 score was 20.6 +/- 0.3 for men without chronic pelvic pain symptoms vs 18.3 +/- 0.7 for men with mild symptoms and 16.5 +/- 1.1 for men with moderate/severe symptoms. A National Institutes of Health-Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index score in the upper quartile was associated with 8.3-fold increased odds of erectile dysfunction.
The prevalence of symptoms suggestive of chronic pelvic pain syndrome in this large cohort of men participating in a health screening project was 2.7% and it revealed no age dependence. Our study suggests that chronic pelvic pain syndrome has a negative impact on erectile function.