The association between at-risk gambling and binge drinking in the general Swedish population

Abstract

While the association between problem gambling and alcohol use disorders has been studied previously, little is known about the association between risk gambling and risk drinking. This study aimed at examining the association between at-risk gambling and binge drinking in the general Swedish population and to test whether this association remained after controlling for demographic factors. The data was part of a larger ongoing survey in the general Swedish population. Respondents (N = 19 530) were recruited through random digit dialing and interviewed about their alcohol habits (binge drinking), at-risk gambling (the Lie/Bet questionnaire) and demographics (gender, age, education, residence size, marital status, labor market status, country of origin and smoking). There was an association between lifetime at-risk gambling and current (12 months) weekly binge drinking for both men (OR = 1.73; CI 95%: 1.27–2.35) and women (OR = 2.27; CI 95%: 1.05–4.90). After controlling for demographics this association no longer remained significant (OR = 1.38; CI 95%; .99–1.90 for men and OR = 1.99; CI 95%: .94–4.66 for women). Age and smoking had the largest impact on this association. At-risk gambling and binge drinking are associated behaviors. However, it seems as if this association may be confounded by demographic variables. We hypothesize that similarities in personality profiles and health aspects could account for an additional part of the association.

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