Pathological and Problem Gambling among Veterans in Clinical Care: Prevalence, Demography, and Clinical Correlates
Article first published online: 25 APR 2013
Copyright © American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry
The American Journal on Addictions
Volume 22, Issue 3, pages 218–225, May-June 2013
How to Cite
Westermeyer, J., Canive, J., Thuras, P., Oakes, M. and Spring, M. (2013), Pathological and Problem Gambling among Veterans in Clinical Care: Prevalence, Demography, and Clinical Correlates. The American Journal on Addictions, 22: 218–225. doi: 10.1111/j.1521-0391.2012.12011.x
- Issue published online: 25 APR 2013
- Article first published online: 25 APR 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 JAN 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 12 DEC 2011
- Manuscript Received: 26 OCT 2011
Background and Objectives
The aim of the study was to estimate prevalence rates of pathological gambling and problem gambling among veterans receiving VA care, since several studies have suggested that VA patients may be at increased risk to these conditions.
consisted of 1,999 veterans randomly selected from VA centers and community clinics in the Albuquerque and Minneapolis catchment areas. Women and younger veterans were oversampled, due to anticipated low rates in these two groups.
revealed that the lifetime prevalence rate of pathological gambling weighted for current VA patients was 2.0%, twice the general adult population rate. Current 1-year weighted prevalence of pathological gambling was .9%, with an additional .2% having continued problem gambling and .9% recovered. Lifetime weighted problem gambling rate was 8.8%. Altogether, 10.7% had lifetime pathological gambling or problem gambling. Women had higher rates of pathological gambling, but similar rates of problem gambling compared to men. The greater prevalence of pathological gambling for younger veterans aged 20–29 (1.3%) compared to veterans aged 30–39 (.8%) was unusual and warrants further investigation.
Conclusions and Scientific Significance
Veterans in VA care have higher rates of gambling problems than the general adult population. Female and young veterans have rates higher than those observed in other surveys of women and young adults. (Am J Addict 2013; 22:218–225)