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Gambling Linked to Good Health in Elderly

14 September 2004

UNCASVILLE, Connecticut -- As reported by Associated Press: "It's Friday at the Mohegan Sun casino, and most of the daytime gamblers are retirees like 73-year-old Mike Sanzo. He's checking out the day's races, while his wife hits the slots.

"Sanzo says he gambles for fun and enjoys the friends he's made among other regulars at the casino since leaving his job installing signs for the state highway department.

'I'm retired, and it exercises my brain,' he says.

"He's an example of what a surprising Yale University study found - older recreational gamblers seem to be healthier than non-gamblers.

"The findings are not rock-solid. They're only based on telephone interviews, but the results are the opposite of what researchers expected. The survey showed that recreational gamblers 65 and older reported being in better health than their peers who don't gamble

"...The study only looked at recreational gamblers and did not study people who had gambling problems. Very few were found in the survey, Yale epidemiologist Rani Desai said, but the health and financial problems for addicts are well known..."

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