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Lee KM, Guo S, Manning V, Thane K, Wong KE
Correspondence: Dr Victoria Manning, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction The expansion in gambling activities over the past decade has made gambling more accessible than ever. This could bring changes in the sociodemographic and clinical profiles of those seeking treatment for pathological gambling.
Methods This study examined the differences between two cohorts of 150 patients each, treated at the National Addictions Management Service between 2001 and 2006 (cohort-1) and between 2006 and 2008 (cohort-2), respectively.
Results Compared to cohort-1, cohort-2 was significantly younger (p-value less than 0.01), comprised fewer Chinese and were more highly educated (p-value less than 0.05), with no significant difference in gender or marital status. Regarding the type of gambling activities, cohort-2 was more likely to engage in soccer betting (p-value less than 0.01). Although the proportion presenting with any comorbidity remained unchanged, alcohol use disorders had increased more than three-fold and suicide risk was slightly elevated, although not significantly.
Conclusion Clinicians should undertake routine screening and assessment of alcohol misuse and suicide risk, offering brief interventions, where necessary, for this vulnerable population.
Keywords: alcohol misuse, clinical, pathological gambling, Singapore, sociodemographic profile
Singapore Med J 2011; 52(6): 428-431