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Mil Med. 2007 Jul;172(7):782-6.

Prevalence and epidemiology of pathological gambling at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth psychiatry clinic.

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Department of Psychiatry, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Portsmouth, VA 23708, USA.



Gambling has exploded in popularity, but pathological gambling (PG) is infrequently diagnosed. The objectives of this study were to calculate the prevalence of PG in a psychiatry clinic, to determine whether PG is underdiagnosed, and to analyze risk factors for PG.


A survey was completed by 584 outpatients presenting to the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth psychiatry clinic over 6 months. Epidemiological data, smoking status, and alcohol use were assessed, and the South Oaks Gambling Screen was administered.


The prevalence of PG determined with the South Oaks Gambling Screen was 1.4%. The electronically documented prevalence of PG was 0.04%. Male subjects, smokers, and subjects with an alcohol problem were more likely to have a gambling problem. Active duty members did not have statistically significantly higher rates of PG.


PG is markedly underdiagnosed. Military members are not at elevated risk for PG, relative to their dependents. Further research and greater awareness of PG are needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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