Gambling-harm in the Great British population: a short synthesis

Updated: Dec 5, 2020

Summary

  • Gambling-harm is estimated to be the largest modifiable risk-factor in terms of harm to health in the GB population

  • Gambling-harm is estimated to affect 1 in 10 adults in GB in the past year

Years of healthy life lost (Disability-Adjusted Life Years)

  • 1.15m years of healthy life are lost in adult gamblers (6.9% of all DALYs, prevalence: 8.5%)

  • 0.94m years of healthy life lost are lost in adult affected others (5.6% of all DALYs, prevalence: 6%)

  • Our analysis estimates that 2.09m years of heathy life are lost due to gambling-harm (12.5%) in Great Britain (2020 population estimate)


Context around DALYs in England 2013

(Estimated from gambling-harm in Great Britain 2020: 0.94m, England 2013 population: 53.9m, Great Britain 2020 population: 66.1m)

  • Gambling-harm in adults: 1.71m (12.5%)

  • Dietary risks: 1.47m (10.8%)

  • Tobacco smoke: 1.46m (10.7%)

  • Gambling-harm in adult gamblers: 0.94m (6.9%)

  • Gambling-harm in adult affected others: 0.77m (5.6%)

  • Alcohol use: 0.55m (4.0%)

  • Drug use: 0.27m (2.0%)

Gaps in research

  • Loss of healthy life in former gamblers (prevalence of life-time gambling and understanding of legacy harms)

  • Loss of healthy life in affected others who are in the 19% of the population that are under 16 (prevalence and understanding of harms)

  • Loss of healthy life in 11-16 gamblers (understanding of harms)

  • Loss of healthy life due to gambling-harm related mortality

Appendix

International studies on DALYs

New Zealand (Adult population = 3,571,947)

The combined total of years lost due to disability in the New Zealand adult population due to harms from someone else’s gambling and one’s own gambling is 161, 928 years (p185).

  • 67, 199 years due to harms from own gambling in adults (prevalence: 7.28%)

  • 94, 730 years due to harms from someone else's gambling in adults (prevalence: 13.6%)

Harm in gamblers is compared to other health states in New Zealand (p188)

  • Gambling-harm in adult gamblers is attributable to more loss of healthy life than Diabetes in New Zealand.

Victoria Australia (Adult population: 4,390,438)

The combined total of years lost due to disability in the Victorian adult population due to harms from someone else’s gambling and one’s own gambling is 117,905 years. (p134)

  • 101, 675 years due to harms from own gambling in adults (prevalence: 12.5%)

  • 16, 320 years due to harms from someone else's gambling in adults (prevalence: 2.79%)


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