Purpose: Prostatitis is an ill-defined condition whose symptoms overlap with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Little is known about the prevalence and correlates of prostatitis, or factors that distinguish prostatitis from BPH. We examined these issues in a large, nationwide sample of healthy men.
Materials and methods: In 1992, 31,681 United States health professionals without prostate cancer provided information on urological diagnoses, lower urinary tract symptoms, and demographic, clinical and lifestyle factors. We calculated age adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for these correlates predicting a history of prostatitis. We also compared characteristics of men with prostatitis to those with BPH.
Results: The prevalence of a self-reported history of prostatitis was 16%. Men reporting a history of BPH had 7.7-fold greater odds of a history of prostatitis, those with moderate or severe lower urinary tract symptoms had 1.8 and 2.8-fold greater odds, respectively, those with a history of sexually transmitted disease had 1.8-fold greater odds and those reporting stress at home or work had 1.5- and 1.2-fold greater odds, respectively. The 2,163 men with prostatitis alone were younger and had less severe urinary tract symptoms (but a similar pattern of symptoms) than the 4,575 men with BPH alone.
Conclusions: Self-reported prostatitis was common among healthy men of all ages but there was considerable overlap with self-reported BPH. Prostatitis had several identifiable correlates that may aid in its recognition.