The relationship between problem gambling and mental and physical health correlates among a nationally representative sample of Canadian women
Authors: Tracie O. Afifi, Brian J. Cox, Patricia J. Martens, Jitender Sareen, and Murray W. Enns
OBJECTIVES: Gambling has become an increasingly common activity among women since the widespread growth of the gambling industry. Currently, our knowledge of the relationship between problem gambling among women and mental and physical correlates is limited. Therefore, important relationships between problem gambling and health and functioning, mental disorders, physical health conditions, and help-seeking behaviours among women were examined using a nationally representative Canadian sample. METHODS: Data were from the nationally representative Canadian Community Health Survey Cycle 1.2 (CCHS 1.2; n = 10,056 women aged 15 years and older; data collected in 2002). The statistical analysis included binary logistic regression, multinomial logistic regression, and linear regression models. RESULTS: Past 12-month problem gambling was associated with a significantly higher probability of current lower general health, suicidal ideation and attempts, decreased psychological well-being, increased distress, depression, mania, panic attacks, social phobia, agoraphobia, alcohol dependence, any mental disorder, comorbidity of mental disorders, chronic bronchitis, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, help-seeking from a professional, attending a self-help group, and calling a telephone help line (odds ratios ranged from 1.5 to 8.2). CONCLUSIONS: Problem gambling was associated with a broad range of negative health correlates among women. Problem gambling is an important public health concern. These findings can be used to inform healthy public policies on gambling.
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