Recently, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a warning regarding the potential risk of gambling disorder, but large epidemiologic studies are lacking.
We used a large health claims database from the United States and conducted a nested case-control study. Cases were defined as subjects newly diagnosed with gambling disorder or impulse control disorder. For each case, 10 controls were selected and matched to cases by age and follow-up time and calendar time. Adjusted rate ratios were computed with conditional logistic regression.
There are 355 cases of gambling disorder and 3550 controls along with 4341 cases of impulse control disorder and 43,410 corresponding controls. After adjusting for confounders, users of aripiprazole demonstrated an increased risk of pathologic gambling (rate ratio [RR], 5.23; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.78–15.38) and impulse control disorder (RR, 7.71; 95% CI, 5.81–10.34). The risk was also elevated for pramipexole or ropinirole for both gambling disorder and impulse control disorder (RR, 7.61; 95% CI, 2.75–21.07; RR, 3.28; 95% CI, 2.31–4.66, respectively).
Our study confirms an association between aripiprazole, pramipexole, or ropinirole and impulse control disorder and gambling disorder.