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Study links gambling and suicide

29 October 2007

CANADA -- As reported by the National Post: "Pathological gamblers are almost four times more likely than the average Canadian to try to kill themselves, concludes a new study that adds to the growing health-related controversy around the government-run casino industry.

"Anti-gambling and safety advocates have long warned that problem gambling can lead to suicide, with some limited research to back up their concerns. The study just published by the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry is based on a nationwide survey of 36,000 Canadians, and found a strong connection between compulsive betting and self-harm.

"Although the research cannot prove a cause-and-effect relationship, it raises significant public health concerns, said the paper spearheaded by Stephen Newman, a psychiatry professor at the University of Alberta.

"...The research comes after the same journal published a study a month earlier that found emergency-room visits for gambling-related psychiatric problems in Quebec jumped by 50% in the late 1990s as the gaming boom took off..."

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