-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- Problem gambling is more
common among American adults than alcohol dependence, a new study
The findings, from the Research Institute on Addictions at the
University of Buffalo, challenge some previous research and the
widespread belief that problem gambling is rare.
The researchers analyzed two national surveys -- one of 2,631
adults 18 and older and another of 2,274 younger people, aged 14 to
21 -- to determine patterns of gambling and alcohol use at
The findings related to gambling revealed that levels of
gambling, frequent gambling and problem gambling increase during
the teen years, reach the highest point in the 20s and 30s and then
decline after age 70.
The researchers also found that frequent gambling is more than
twice as common among men as among women, 28 percent vs. 13
percent, and that men reach their highest rates of gambling in
their late teens, whereas the highest rates among women occur at a
Whites were much more likely than blacks or Asians to report any
gambling within the past year, but rates of frequent gambling were
higher among blacks and Native Americans.
The researchers also found that rates of frequent and problem
gambling rise as socioeconomic status declines, and that
involvement in gambling in general tends to drop as socioeconomic
The study was published in the March issue of the
Journal of Gambling Studies.
"No comparable analysis has been done previously and, therefore, none is available for a direct comparison of these results," principal investigator John W. Welte said in a university news release. "But, given what we found about the persistence of frequent and problem gambling through adulthood, increased prevention and intervention efforts are warranted."
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