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Prevalence and risks of pathological gambling in Sweden

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Objective: This paper presents results from the first national survey of problem gambling completed in Sweden.

Method: The Swedish survey is unique in its quality and representativeness, due to the use of multiple modes of data collection, recruitment of respondents from national registers rather than from households, and high response rate.

Results: In spite of high rates of gambling participation in Sweden, the combined prevalence of problem and pathological gambling in Sweden is relatively low (3.9% lifetime and 2.0% current). Multivariate analysis shows that being male, under the age of 25 and born abroad are significant risk factors for lifetime gambling problems in Sweden. Additional risk factors are being single, living in big cities, and receiving social welfare payments.

Conclusion: The groups most at risk for gambling problems in Sweden are people disadvantaged and marginalized by international economic changes as well as the dismantling of the Swedish welfare system.

Keywords: Sweden; gambling; multivariate analysis; pathological gambling; prevalence; survey methods

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Gemini Research Ltd, Northampton, MA, USA, 2: Faculty of Health Studies, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand 3: Institute for Applied Behavior Analysis Ltd, Solna, Sweden, 4: Statistica Munck, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: October 1, 2001

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