Objectives: To re-survey (after 1 year) men identified in 1999 as having perineal and/or ejaculatory pain/discomfort severe enough to suggest a clinical diagnosis of chronic prostatitis (using the National Institutes of Health-Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index, NIH-CPSI), and to compare them with an age-matched population of men who had no prostatitis-like symptoms in the initial survey, to determine the effect of time on specific symptoms associated with the diagnosis of chronic prostatitis.
Subjects and methods: A comprehensive questionnaire incorporating the pain and voiding domains of the NIH-CPSI, and data on demographics, medical history, socio-economic status, health-seeking behaviour and a quality of life assessment, was sent to 67 men who had reported prostatitis-like symptoms in the 1999 survey, and to 202 age-matched controls (1 : 3) who reported no prostatitis-like symptoms in the same survey.
Results: Forty men (60%) with previous prostatitis-like symptoms, i.e. a mean (sd) 1999 NIH-CPSI pain score of 8.8 (0.4), and 119 (59%) of the control population completed and returned the survey. There was no difference in the 1999 demographics (P = 0.82) or NIH-CPSI pain score (P = 0.49) between patients who returned the recent questionnaire and those who could not be located or declined to complete the survey. Fifteen men (38%) identified with prostatitis in 1999 did not report similar symptoms in 2000. The initial mean NIH-CPSI pain score (0-21) for the men who had resolution of their prostatitis-like symptoms was 7.5 (0.6); 1 year later it was 0.73 (0.3). Their mean age was 51.1 (3.9) years and mean duration of symptoms 1.1 (0.3) years. Those with persistent symptoms had an initial NIH-CPSI pain score of 9.6 (0.5); 1 year later it was 8.68 (0.4), at mean age of 51.4 (2.5) years and duration of symptoms 2.2 (0.3) years. Four men (3%) in the control group who had no symptoms in 1999 reported prostatitis-like symptoms in 2000; these men had a mean age of 52.5 (5.9) and NIH-CPSI pain score of 7.0 (0.9).
Conclusion: About a third of men reporting prostatitis-like symptoms in the general population had resolution of their symptoms (usually those with a shorter duration and less severe symptoms) 1 year later. The severity of symptoms of men with persistent chronic prostatitis remained relatively unchanged over the year.