The symptoms of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) and chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) are widespread among men in the United States, according to research published in The Journal of Urology (2013;189:141-145).

After developing validated case definitions to identify IC/BPS or CP/CPPS in the RAND Interstitial Cystitis Epidemiology study, Anne M. Suskind, MD, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues used population-based methods to screen 6,072 households by telephone for men with symptoms of IC/BPP or CP/CPPS. A total of 149 men met the inclusion criteria and completed the telephone survey.

The researchers found that the weighted prevalence of IC/BPS was estimated at 4.2% for a high-sensitivity definition and 1.9% for a high-specificity definition. The weighted prevalence of CP/CPPS was estimated at 1.8%. These values would equate to 1,986,972 men with CP/CPPS in the United States and 2,107,727 men with the high-specificity definition of IC/BPS. The estimated overlap between high specificity IC/BPS and CP/CPPS was 17 percent.

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“The prevalence of and the degree of overlap between IC/BPS and CP/CPPS in U.S. men are higher than previously thought,” the authors wrote. “These estimates suggest that these conditions are widespread and that they might be underdiagnosed by physicians.”