Q: I've had problems with both chronic prostatitis and peptic ulcers. My doctor said that the two could be related. How can that be?

The underlying cause of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) remains unknown about 90 percent of the time. Microorganisms suspected of causing the condition include Escherichia coli, Enterobacter and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

A relatively new suspect is Helicobacter pylori, which is the most common microorganism in human bacterial infections around the world. This bacterium lives in the lining of the stomach and can cause inflammation and immune responses.

People with certain health problems are more likely to have detectable signs of H. pylori in their blood. These health problems include heart disease, rosacea, chronic bronchitis and asthma.

A recent study in the Scandinavian Journal of Urology and Nephrology linked H. pylori to CP/CPPS. For the study, researchers took blood from 64 men with CP/CPPS and 55 without. They found that 76 percent of men in the CP/CPPS group tested positive for antibodies against H. pylori, versus 62 percent of the men in the control group.

This was the first study to link CP/CPPS with H. pylori, so the relationship between the two is far from proven. But if further studies show a link, it suggests that treatment for H. pylori-induced peptic ulcers may be beneficial for H. pylori-induced CP/CPPS as well.

Publication Review By: H. Ballentine Carter, M.D.

Published: 21 Jun 2011

Last Modified: 19 Feb 2015