Purpose: We describe the study design of the National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Cohort (CPC) study characterizing men with chronic prostatitis/the chronic pelvic pain syndrome.
Materials and methods: All 488 men screened into the CPC study before close of recruitment on August 22, 2001 were selected for analysis. The National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index, including subscores, was used to measure symptoms. A comprehensive history, physical examination and demographic profile were obtained from each participant. Generalized Mantel-Haenszel procedures were used to investigate baseline associations between selected factors and symptoms.
Results: Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome is a chronic syndrome affecting men over a wide age range. The majority of CPC study participants are white, well educated and affluent. However, lower education, lower income and unemployment were associated with more severe symptoms. Patients most frequently reported pain in the perineum and tenderness in the prostate. The highest self-reported diseases were genitourinary (55%), allergies (53%), neurological (40%) and hematopoietic, lymphatic or infectious (40%). This disease has a significant negative impact on mental and physical domains of quality of life. Almost all patients (95%) reported antimicrobial drug use. Of these 488 participants 280 (57%) reported the previous or current use of 5 or more categories of prostatitis related treatments.
Conclusions: Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome is a multifactorial problem affecting men of all ages and demographics. Patients with the chronic pelvic pain syndrome have dismal quality of life and many have benefited only minimally from empirical, goal directed therapy. Long-term followup of this cohort may answer important questions on the natural treated history of this syndrome.