The association between pathological gambling and attempted suicide: Findings from a national survey in Canada

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between pathological gambling (PG) and attempted suicide in a nationally representative sample of Canadians. METHODS: Data came from the Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 1.2, conducted in 2002, in which 36 984 subjects, aged 15 years or older, were interviewed. Logistic regression was performed with attempted suicide (in the past year) as the dependent variable. The independent variables were PG, major depression, alcohol dependence, drug dependence, and mental health care (in the past year), as well as a range of sociodemographic variables. Survey weights and bootstrap methods were used to account for the complex survey design. RESULTS: In the final logistic regression model, which included terms for PG, major depression, alcohol dependence, and mental health care, as well as age, sex, education, and income, the odds ratio for PG and attempted suicide was 3.43 (95% confidence interval, 1.37 to 8.60). CONCLUSIONS: PG (in the past year) and attempted suicide (in the past year) are associated in a nationally representative sample of Canadians. However, it is not possible to say from these data whether this represents a causal relation.

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