Gambling disorder, increased mortality, suicidality, and associated comorbidity: A longitudinal nationwide register study [open access article]

Background and aims: Gambling disorder (GD) appears to be an independent risk factor for suicide, and all-cause mortality has been sparsely studied in patients with GD. This study aims to explore mortality and suicide rates in individuals with GD compared to the general population as well as explore risk factors associated with all-cause mortality and suicide mortality. Access full article

Anna Karlsson and Anders Håkansson; Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Psychiatry, Lund University, Lund, Sweden; Clinical Research Unit, Malmö Addiction Center, Region Skåne, Sweden. Journal of Behavioral Addictions.
DOI: 10.1556/2006.7.2018.112


Pilot study of problem gambling in specialized substance use disorder treatment—High lifetime prevalence of problem gambling in opioid maintenance treatment patients [open access article]

Håkansson, Anders & Ek, Johanna. (2018). Open Journal of Psychiatry, 8, 233–243. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2018.83020

Abstract: Problem gambling is over-represented in patients treated for substance use disorders, but substance-specific prevalence of problem gambling is rarely reported. In specialized addiction treatment facilities for opioid maintenance treatment and for alcohol and prescription drug dependence, respectively, 129 patients were screened for problem gambling using the NODS-CLiP. The lifetime prevalence of problem gambling was markedly higher in opioid maintenance treatment (61 percent) than in alcohol and prescription drug dependence treatment (11 percent, p < 0.001). When controlling for gender and age, problem gambling remained significantly associated with opioid maintenance treatment. The present study demonstrated a very high prevalence of lifetime problem gambling in opioid maintenance treatment patients. This calls for active screening for problem gambling in substance use disorder patients, and mainly in treatment for opioid dependence. Read full article

Gambling disorder in male violent offenders in the prison system: psychiatric and substance-related comorbidity [open access article]

Widinghoff, C., Berge, J., Wallinius, M. et al. (2018). Journal of Gambling Studies. doi:

Gambling disorder is an addiction that can cause major suffering, and some populations seem to be more vulnerable than others. Offender populations have a remarkably high prevalence of gambling problems and they are also over-represented in a number of diagnoses related to gambling disorder, like substance use disorders and antisocial personality disorder. Yet, there are few studies investigating gambling disorder prevalence and related psychiatric comorbidity in this group. This study aims to investigate the prevalence of, and association between, gambling disorder and other psychiatric diagnoses in a sample of young, male violent offenders. Two hundred and sixty-four male offenders, all serving sentences for violent crimes (recruited between 2010 and 2012) participated in this study and went through comprehensive psychiatric evaluation, including assessment for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition criteria. Sixteen percent of the participants met criteria for gambling disorder. Antisocial personality disorder, cannabis, cocaine and anabolic steroids abuse were significantly more common among participants with gambling disorder. The gambling disorder group also showed significantly lower educational attainment. Cocaine abuse and failure to graduate elementary and middle school in expected time were independently associated with gambling disorder in a regression analysis. This study confirms the previously described high prevalence of gambling disorder in offenders. The psychiatric comorbidity was high and the problems had started early, with lower educational attainment in the gambling disorder group. The findings stress the importance of increased awareness of gambling problems among convicted offenders and of gambling research on young people with delinquent behavior. There is a need of more research to investigate this further, in order to develop preventive strategies and treatment. Access full article

Gambling disorder and obsessive–compulsive personality disorder: A frequent but understudied comorbidity [open access article]

Medeiros, G. & Grant, J. (2018). Journal of Behavioral Addictions 7(2), 366–374. doi: 10.1556/2006.7.2018.50

Epidemiological data have suggested that the prevalence of co-occurring personality disorders is particularly high in people with gambling disorder (GD). Among the personality disorders, obsessive–compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) appears to be the most common problem. The objective of this study was to investigate the clinical presentation of GD with and without co-occurring OCPD. Our research provides further
insight on GD co-occurring with OCPD, such as increasing social support and improvement of coping skills, especially to deal with financial difficulties and stress. Our findings may lead to more customized and effective therapeutic approaches to this frequent comorbidity. Access full article

Analysis of Gambling in the Media Related to Screens: Immersion as a Predictor of Excessive Use? Full-text

By Jean-Jacques Rémond, & Lucia Romo

Abstract: This study investigates the intricacies between the player interface proposed by the screens, (in particular on smartphone applications or in video games) and gambling. Recent research indicates connections between “immersion” and excessive screen practice. We want to understand the causal-effects between online gambling and the “immersion” variable and understand their relationship and its contingencies. This article empirically investigates whether and how it is possible to observe immersion with its sub-dimensions in gambling on different screens. The objective of this study was to analyze: (1) the costs and benefits associated with gambling practice on screens (2) the link between gambling practice and screen practice (video game, Internet, mobile screen); (3) to observe the propensity to immersion for individuals practicing gambling on screens; and (4) to examine the comorbidities and cognitive factors associated with the practice of gambling on screen. A total of 432 adults (212 men, 220 women), recruited from Ile-de-France (France), responded to a battery of questionnaires. Our study suggests that immersion variables make it possible to understand the cognitive participation of individuals towards screens in general, the practice of gambling on screens and the excessive practice of screens.

Jean-Jacques Rémond, & Lucia Romo. (2018). Analysis of Gambling in the Media Related to Screens: Immersion as a Predictor of Excessive Use? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(1), 58.


Food Addiction in Gambling Disorder: Frequency and Clinical Outcomes

By Susana Jiménez-Murcia, Roser Granero, Ines Wolz, Marta Baño, Gemma Mestre-Bach, Trevor Steward, Zaida Agüera, Anke Hinney, Carlos Diéguez, Felipe F. Casanueva, Ashley N. Gearhardt, Anders Hakansson, José M. Menchón, and Fernando Fernández-Aranda.

Background: The food addiction (FA) model is receiving increasing interest from the scientific community. Available empirical evidence suggests that this condition may play an important role in the development and course of physical and mental health conditions such as obesity, eating disorders, and other addictive behaviors. However, no epidemiological data exist on the comorbidity of FA and gambling disorder (GD), or on the phenotype for the co-occurrence of GD+FA.

Objectives: To determine the frequency of the comorbid condition GD+FA, to assess whether this comorbidity features a unique clinical profile compared to GD without FA, and to generate predictive models for the presence of FA in a GD sample.

Method: Data correspond to N = 458 treatment-seeking patients who met criteria for GD in a hospital unit specialized in behavioral addictions.

Results: Point prevalence for FA diagnosis was 9.2%. A higher ratio of FA was found in women (30.5%) compared to men (6.0%). Lower FA prevalence was associated with older age. Patients with high FA scores were characterized by worse psychological state, and the risk of a FA diagnosis was increased in patients with high scores in the personality traits harm avoidance and self-transcendence, and low scores in cooperativeness (R2 = 0.18).

Conclusion: The co-occurrence of FA in treatment-seeking GD patients is related to poorer emotional and psychological states. GD treatment interventions and related behavioral addictions should consider potential associations with problematic eating behavior and aim to include techniques that aid patients in better managing this behavior.

Association of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder with gambling disorder

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a frequent mental disorder with childhood onset and high persistence into adulthood. There is much evidence that ADHD increases the risk for the development of other psychiatric disorders and functional problems in several domains of everyday life. In this study, the association of ADHD with gambling disorder (GD) was investigated. 163 adult subjects suffering from GD were examined for childhood and current ADHD according to DSM-5 as well as co-morbid psychiatric disorders. Moreover, characteristics of gambling behavior have been evaluated. The prevalence of lifetime ADHD was 28.8 %, with 25.2 % of the study population presenting ADHD as a full syndrome according to DSM-5. The prevalence of co-morbid substance use disorders and adjustment disorders and cluster B personality disorders was higher in GD patients with current ADHD than in the group without. Also, an increased rate of suicide attempts was detected in gamblers with ADHD. In contrast with gamblers without ADHD, those with ADHD were reported to spend more time with gambling, a sedative effect of gambling and a faster development of GD. The high prevalence of ADHD in patients with GD indicates that childhood ADHD is a risk factor for the development of GD in later life. Moreover, treatment of patients with GD and ADHD is complicated by a high rate of co-morbid disorders. Regarding therapeutic approaches, it should be considered that functional aspects of gambling differ in GD patients with and without ADHD.