Mood Emot 2023 Nov; 21(3): 31-37
Association Between Pathological Gambling and Depression in Korean Adults
Sujin Yang, MD1 , Hyeonmi Hong, PhD2 , Young-Eun Jung, MD, PhD1,3 , Moon-Doo Kim, MD, PhD1,3
1Department of Psychiatry, Jeju National University Hospital, 2Division of Future Education, Jeju National University, 3Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Jeju National University, Jeju, Korea
Correspondence to: Moon-Doo Kim, MD, PhD
Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Jeju National University, 15 Aran 13-gil, Jeju 63241, Korea
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Received: November 16, 2023; Accepted: November 20, 2023; Published online: November 30, 2023.
© Korean Society for Affective Disorders. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background: Pathological gambling is associated with several adverse outcomes, including depression, suicide, divorce, loss of employment, and debt. However, studies on the prevalence of pathological gambling are limited in South Korea. We assessed the prevalence of pathological gambling and its related factors.
Methods: Data were obtained from 500 community-dwelling adults aged 20–59 years living in Jeju, Korea. This study assessed pathological/problem gambling using the Korean version of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule. We used the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 to obtain information about depression.
Results: Lifetime prevalence rates of pathological gambling and problem gambling were 1.2% and 7.2%, respectively. The association between pathological/problem gambling and depression was highly significant (p<0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed significant relationships between men gender (odds ratio [OR], 2.62; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.18–5.84; p=0.018) and depression (OR, 2.84; 95% CI, 1.42–5.68; p<0.001) and pathological/problem gambling.
Conclusion: Pathological/problem gambling is highly associated with depression, indicating that clinicians should carefully evaluate and treat depression among gamblers.
Keywords: Pathological gambling; Depression; Korean adults

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