Prostatitis, other genitourinary infections and prostate cancer: results from a population-based case-control study

World J Urol. 2016 Mar;34(3):425-30. doi: 10.1007/s00345-015-1625-1. Epub 2015 Jun 25.


Purpose: We relied on a population-based case-control study (PROtEuS) to examine a potential association between the presence of histologically confirmed prostate cancer (PCa) and history of genitourinary infections, e.g., prostatitis, urethritis, orchitis and epididymitis.

Patients and methods: Cases were 1933 men with incident PCa, diagnosed across Montreal hospitals between 2005 and 2009. Population controls were 1994 men from the same residential area and age distribution. In-person interviews collected information about socio-demographic characteristics, lifestyle and medical history, e.g., self-reported history of several genitourinary infections, as well as on PCa screening. Logistic regression analyses tested overall and grade-specific associations, including subgroup analyses with frequent PSA testing.

Results: After multivariable adjustment, prostatitis was associated with an increased risk of any PCa (OR 1.81 [1.44-2.27]), but not urethritis (OR 1.05 [0.84-1.30]), orchitis (OR 1.28 [0.92-1.78]) or epididymitis (OR 0.98 [0.57-1.68]). The association between prostatitis and PCa was more pronounced for low-grade PCa (Gleason ≤ 6: OR 2.11 [1.61-2.77]; Gleason ≥ 7: OR 1.59 [1.22-2.07]). Adjusting for frequency of physician visits, PSA testing frequency or restricting analyses to frequently screened subjects did not affect these results.

Conclusion: Prostatitis was associated with an increased probability for detecting PCa even after adjustment for frequency of PSA testing and physician visits, but not urethritis, orchitis or epididymitis. These considerations may be helpful in clinical risk stratification of individuals in whom the risk of PCa is pertinent.

Keywords: Case–control study; Diagnosis; Genitourinary infections; Prostate cancer; Prostatitis.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Epididymitis / epidemiology
  • Epididymitis / etiology*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orchitis / epidemiology
  • Orchitis / etiology*
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / complications*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Prostatitis / epidemiology
  • Prostatitis / etiology*
  • Quebec / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urethritis / epidemiology
  • Urethritis / etiology*