Nuuk, Greenland
Nuuk, Greenland

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Leutscher P.,Aarhus University Hospital | Madsen G.,Aarhus University Hospital | Erlandsen M.,University of Aarhus | Veirum J.,Aarhus University Hospital | And 4 more authors.
Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2012

Background: Delays in the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis (TB) are commonly encountered. Methods: A study was undertaken among pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) and extrapulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB) patients in a Danish university hospital to describe demographic and clinical characteristics in relation to delay. Results: Of the 313 patients enrolled, 213 (68%) were diagnosed with PTB and 100 (32%) with EPTB only. Logistic regression analysis of EPTB showed an association with female sex and non-Danish ethnicity. Mean total delay from onset of symptoms until initiation of TB treatment was 123 (95% confidence interval (CI) 106-138) days. Mean patient delay was significantly longer than mean health system delay: 90 (95% CI 74-105) vs 33 (95% CI 23-44) days (p < 0.0001). Delay was independent of ethnicity and significantly shorter for PTB patients compared to EPTB patients. Fever was found to be strongly predictive of a short patient delay (<1 month), whereas weight loss was associated with a long patient delay (>3 months). In contrast, weight loss was associated with a short health system delay (<1 week). Elevated inflammatory markers were also associated with a short delay in the diagnosis of TB. Conclusions: This study confirmed a typical delay of months in duration in the diagnosis and treatment of TB in the low endemic country of Denmark. Increased TB awareness is needed, in particular in communities with immigrants originating from high-endemic areas. © 2012 Informa Healthcare.


Bonefeld-Jorgensen E.C.,University of Aarhus | Long M.,University of Aarhus | Bossi R.,University of Aarhus | Ayotte P.,Institute National Of Sante Publique Du Quebec | And 7 more authors.
Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source | Year: 2011

Background: Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer for women in the western world. From very few cases an extraordinary increase in BC was observed in the Inuit population of Greenland and Canada although still lower than in western populations. Previous data suggest that exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) might contribute to the risk of BC. Rat studies showed that perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) cause significantly increase in mammary fibroadenomas. This study aimed at evaluating the association between serum levels of POPs/PFCs in Greenlandic Inuit BC cases and their controls, and whether the combined POP related effect on nuclear hormone receptors affect BC risk. Methods. Thirty-one BC cases and 115 controls were sampled during 2000-2003 from various Greenlandic districts. The serum levels of POPs, PFCs, some metals and the combined serum POP related effect on estrogen- (ER), androgen- (AR) and Ah-receptor (AhR) transactivity were determined. Independent student t-test was used to compare the differences and the odds ratios were estimated by unconditional logistic regression models. Results: We observed for the very first time a significant association between serum PFC levels and the risk of BC. The BC cases also showed a significantly higher concentration of polychlorinated biphenyls at the highest quartile. Also for the combined serum POP induced agonistic AR transactivity significant association to BC risk was found, and cases elicited a higher frequency of samples with significant POP related hormone-like agonistic ER transactivity. The AhR toxic equivalent was lowest in cases. Conclusions: The level of serum POPs, particularly PFCs, might be risk factors in the development of BC in Inuit. Hormone disruption by the combined serum POP related xenoestrogenic and xenoandrogenic activities may contribute to the risk of developing breast cancer in Inuit. Further investigations are needed to document these study conclusions. © 2011 Bonefeld-Jorgensen et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Borresen M.L.,Statens Serum Institute | Olsen O.R.,Sisimiut Health Clinic and Hospital | Ladefoged K.,Dronning Ingrids Hospital | McMahon B.J.,Arctic Investigations Program Center for Disease Control and Prevention | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Viral Hepatitis | Year: 2010

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is endemic in Greenland with 5-10% of the population being HBsAg-positive (chronic carriers). Surprisingly, despite of the high prevalence of HBV infection, acute and chronic hepatitis B, liver cirrhosis and primary hepatocellular carcinoma appear much less frequently than expected. The reasons for the low frequencies are unknown, but as a consequence implementation of a childhood HBV vaccination programme, though debated for years, has never been instituted. We describe an outbreak of hepatitis D (HDV) infection among children in a hepatitis B hyper-endemic settlement of 133 inhabitants on the west coast of Greenland. In 2006 a total of 27% of the inhabitants were HBsAg-positive (chronic carriers) and 83% were HBcAb-positive (previously exposed). Forty-six percent of the HBsAg-positive persons were below 20 years of age. On follow-up 1 year later a total of 68% of the HBsAg-positive persons were HDV-IgG positive. Five children, who were HBsAg-positive in 2006, had HDV-seroconverted from 2006 to 2007, indicating a HDV-super-infection. Most of the HDV-IgG positive children had markedly elevated liver enzymes. In the multivariate analysis, among the HBV and HDV markers, presence of HDV-IgG was most strongly associated with elevation of liver enzymes. In conclusion, the HBV-HDV super-infection and presumed HDV outbreak in this settlement challenges the notion that HBV infection may not be as harmless in Greenland as previously anticipated. The findings strongly suggest that HBV vaccination should be included in the child-immunization program in Greenland. © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Bloch L.H.,Dronning Ingrids Hospital | Drachmann G.H.,Primary Health Care in Nuuk | Pedersen M.L.,Primary Health Care in Nuuk
International Journal of Circumpolar Health | Year: 2013

Background. The suicide rate in Greenland, especially among men, is among the highest in the world. Attempted suicide rates may be high also. However, the rates of attempted suicide are unknown. Objective. We aimed to estimate the age- and gender-specific incidence of attempted suicide using medicine in Nuuk in 2008-2009. Design. An observational retrospective study of consecutive medical records on patients admitted to Dronning Ingrids Hospital in Nuuk in 2008-2009 with possible medicine intoxication. Results. Seventy-four (60 females and 14 men) cases of attempted suicide using medicine were included. Of those, 43 used paracetamol alone or in combination with other medicine. The incidence of attempted suicide using medicine was higher among females than males (p<0.001). The highest incidence of attempted suicide with paracetamol was found among women aged 20-24 years (0.84%). The highest incidence of suicide with medication (1.31 per 100 inhabitants per year) was among women aged 15-19 years. Conclusions. The incidence of attempted suicide using medicine was high in Nuuk, Greenland, especially among women. The highest incidence of suicide attempts with medication was observed among women in the age group 15-19 years (1.31%). This may reflect psychosocial vulnerability among young people in Greenland. Initiatives to improve living conditions for children and adolescents are highly recommended to be initiated immediately. © 2013 Lars Heymann Bloch et al.


Smit L.A.M.,University Utrecht | Lenters V.,University Utrecht | Hoyer B.B.,Aarhus University Hospital | Lindh C.H.,Lund University | And 8 more authors.
Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2015

Abstract Background Emerging evidence suggests that prenatal or early-life exposures to environmental contaminants may contribute to an increased risk of asthma and allergies in children. We aimed to the explore associations of prenatal exposures to a large set of environmental chemical contaminants with asthma and eczema in school-age children. Methods We studied 1024 mother-child pairs from Greenland and Ukraine from the INUENDO birth cohort. Data were collected by means of an interview-based questionnaire when the children were 5-9 years of age. Questions from the ISAAC study were used to define asthma, eczema, and wheeze. We applied principal components analysis (PCA) to sixteen contaminants in maternal serum sampled during pregnancy, including perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), metabolites of diethylhexyl (DEHP) and diisononyl (DiNP) phthalates, PCB-153, and p,p'-DDE. Scores of five principal components (PCs) explaining 70% of the variance were included in multiple logistic regression models. Results In a meta-analysis that included both populations, the PC2 score, reflecting exposure to DiNP, was negatively associated with current eczema (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.52-0.96). Other associations were not consistent between the two populations. In Ukrainian children, the PC3 score (DEHP) was positively associated with current wheeze (adjusted OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.03-2.37), whereas the PC5 score, dominated by perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), was inversely associated with current wheeze (OR 0.64, 0.41-0.99). In Greenlandic children, a negative association of PC4 (organochlorines) with ever eczema (OR 0.78, 0.61-0.99) was found. Conclusions We found limited evidence to support a link between prenatal exposure to environmental chemical contaminants and childhood asthma and eczema. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


PubMed | University Utrecht, Dronning Ingrids Hospital, Kharkiv National Medical University, Copenhagen University and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Allergy | Year: 2015

Emerging evidence suggests that prenatal or early-life exposures to environmental contaminants may contribute to an increased risk of asthma and allergies in children. We aimed to the explore associations of prenatal exposures to a large set of environmental chemical contaminants with asthma and eczema in school-age children.We studied 1024 mother-child pairs from Greenland and Ukraine from the INUENDO birth cohort. Data were collected by means of an interview-based questionnaire when the children were 5-9 years of age. Questions from the ISAAC study were used to define asthma, eczema, and wheeze. We applied principal components analysis (PCA) to sixteen contaminants in maternal serum sampled during pregnancy, including perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), metabolites of diethylhexyl (DEHP) and diisononyl (DiNP) phthalates, PCB-153, and p,p-DDE. Scores of five principal components (PCs) explaining 70% of the variance were included in multiple logistic regression models.In a meta-analysis that included both populations, the PC2 score, reflecting exposure to DiNP, was negatively associated with current eczema (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.52-0.96). Other associations were not consistent between the two populations. In Ukrainian children, the PC3 score (DEHP) was positively associated with current wheeze (adjusted OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.03-2.37), whereas the PC5 score, dominated by perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), was inversely associated with current wheeze (OR 0.64, 0.41-0.99). In Greenlandic children, a negative association of PC4 (organochlorines) with ever eczema (OR 0.78, 0.61-0.99) was found.We found limited evidence to support a link between prenatal exposure to environmental chemical contaminants and childhood asthma and eczema.


Hansen T.V.O.,Rigshospitalet | Jonson L.,Rigshospitalet | Albrechtsen A.,Copenhagen University | Steffensen A.Y.,Rigshospitalet | And 4 more authors.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment | Year: 2010

Germ-line mutations in the tumour suppressor proteins BRCA1 and BRCA2 predispose to breast and ovarian cancer. We have recently identified a Greenlandic Inuit BRCA1 nucleotide 234T>G/c.115T>G (p.Cys39Gly) founder mutation, which at that time was the only disease-causing BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation identified in this population. Here, we describe the identification of a novel disease-causing BRCA1 nucleotide 4803delCC/c.4684delCC mutation in a Greenlandic Inuit with ovarian cancer. The mutation introduces a frameshift and a premature stop at codon 1572. We have also identified a BRCA1 nucleotide 249T>A/c.130T>A (p.Cys44Ser) mutation in another Greenlandic individual with ovarian cancer. This patient share a 1-2 Mb genomic fragment, containing the BRCA1 gene, with four Danish families harbouring the same mutation, suggesting that the 249T>A/c.130T>A (p.Cys44Ser) mutation originates from a Danish ancestor. We conclude that screening of Greenlandic Inuits with high risk of breast or ovarian cancer should include sequencing of the entire BRCA1 gene. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Borresen M.L.,Statens Serum Institute | Koch A.,Statens Serum Institute | Biggar R.J.,Statens Serum Institute | Andersson M.,Statens Serum Institute | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute | Year: 2011

Background In Greenland, the prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen carriers, reflecting chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, is 5%-10%. However, the incidence of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma in this population has been reported to be low. We investigated this discrepancy in a large population-based cohort study. Methods In total, 8879 Greenlanders (16% of the population) were recruited for population-based surveys performed from May 5 to July 7, 1987, and from November 1 to November 21, 1998, with follow-up until March 31, 2010. HBV status was based on serological testing, supplemented by data from all available HBV registries in Greenland to determine changes in HBV status over time. Information on morbidity and mortality was obtained from the Patient Discharge Registry, the Cancer Registry, and the Central Registration System. Sex, age, ethnicity, and period-adjusted incidence rate ratios (IRRs) were estimated using Poisson regression. World standardized rates were derived from these and World Health Organization data. Results The 650 chronically HBV-infected persons had higher rates of hepatocellular carcinoma (adjusted IRR = 8.70; 95% CI = 2.06 to 36.7), liver disease (adjusted IRR = 5.73, 95% CI = 3.52 to 9.34), and all-cause mortality (adjusted IRR = 1.47; 95% CI = 1.21 to 1.79) than the 5160 HBV-negative persons. However, the world standardized incidence rates of hepatocellular carcinoma (38.5 cancers per 100000 person-years) and cirrhosis (24 cases per 100000 person-years) among chronically HBV-infected persons were low compared with results from population-based studies from countries with low, intermediate, and high rates of endemic HBV infection. Conclusion The relatively low incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma and other HBV-related morbidity among chronic HBV-infected persons in Greenland suggest a more benign course of HBV among the Greenlandic Inuit than in populations in other parts of the world. © 2011 The Author.


A young male had giant xanthomas of all four extremities. We chose surgical treatment and as a result he was able to wear shoes again. Aggressive treatment of xanthomas and the underlying heart disease is essential in treating young patients.


Borresen M.L.,Statens Serum Institute | Koch A.,Statens Serum Institute | Biggar R.J.,Statens Serum Institute | Ladefoged K.,Dronning Ingrids Hospital | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2012

Objectives. To evaluate the effectiveness of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination program in Greenland, which targets children born to mothers who are positive for HBV surface antigen (HBsAg), we determined vaccination coverage, levels of postvaccination antibodies, and frequency of breakthrough infections in at-risk children. Methods. We conducted a population-based retrospective cohort study with data from nationwide registries. We identified all children born to HBsAgpositive mothers from 1992 to 2007 and collected data on their HBV vaccination status. In 2008 to 2010, we tested the children for HBV core antibody, HBsAg, and anti-HBsAg antibody (HBsAb). Results. Of 4050 pregnant women, 3.2% were HBsAg positive. Of 207 children born to these women, 20% received no vaccinations, and only 58% received at least 3 vaccinations. At follow-up, HBsAb levels in vaccinated children were much lower than expected, and 8 (6%) of 140 at-risk children had breakthrough infections, with 4 chronically infected (persistently HBsAg positive). Conclusions. The prevention program targeting children at risk for HBV in Greenland is ineffective. HBV vaccination should be included in the universal childhood vaccination program, and postvaccination HBsAb levels should be monitored.

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