The Faroese Hospital System

Tórshavn, Faroe Islands

The Faroese Hospital System

Tórshavn, Faroe Islands

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PubMed | University of Aarhus, Northwest Public Health Research Center, University of Southern Denmark, University of Tromsø and 4 more.
Type: | Journal: International journal of circumpolar health | Year: 2016

This article gives an overview of the ongoing cohort and dietary studies underlying the assessment of population health in the Arctic. The emphasis here is on a description of the material, methods and results or preliminary results for each study. Detailed exposure information is available in an article in this journal, whereas another paper describes the effects associated with contaminant exposure in the Arctic. The cohort descriptions have been arranged geographically, beginning in Norway and moving east to Finland, Sweden, Russia and the other Arctic countries and ultimately to the Faroe Islands. No cohort studies have been reported for Alaska or Iceland.


PubMed | University of Aarhus, Northwest Public Health Research Center, University of Southern Denmark, University of Tromsø and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: International journal of circumpolar health | Year: 2016

The Human Health Assessment Group has over the past decade recommended that effect studies be conducted in the circumpolar area. Such studies examine the association between contaminant exposure in the Arctic populations and health effects. Because foetuses and young children are the most vulnerable, effect studies are often prospective child cohort studies. The emphasis in this article is on a description of the effects associated with contaminant exposure in the Arctic. The main topics addressed are neurobehavioural, immunological, reproductive, cardiovascular, endocrine and carcinogenic effect. For each topic, the association between exposure and effects is described, and some results are reported for similar studies outside the Arctic.


PubMed | The Faroese Hospital System and University of Southern Denmark
Type: | Journal: Reproductive toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.) | Year: 2016

Current knowledge on obesogenic effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) is equivocal. We therefore evaluated the associations between early-life POP exposures and body mass index (BMI) in 444 Faroese children born in 2007-2009. POPs were measured in maternal 2-week postpartum serum and child age-5 serum. Linear regression and generalised linear models assessed the associations with continuous and dichotomous BMI z-scores, respectively, at ages 18 months and/or 5 years. Maternal serum concentrations of HCB, PFOS and PFOA were associated with increased BMI z-scores and/or overweight risk (i.e. BMI z-score85th WHO percentile). No clear association was found for maternal serum-PCBs, p,p-DDE, PFHxS, PFNA and PFDA. In cross-sectional analyses, we observed a pattern of inverse associations between child serum-POPs and BMI z-scores at age 5, perhaps due to reverse causation that requires attention in future prospective analyses. Findings in this recent cohort support a role of maternal exposure to endocrine disruptors in the childhood obesity epidemic.


PubMed | Seoul National University, University of Saskatchewan, National Taiwan University Hospital, University of British Columbia and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: Parkinsonism & related disorders | Year: 2016

Mutations in dynactin DCTN1 (p150(glued)) have previously been linked to familial motor neuron disease or Perry syndrome (PS) consisting of depression, parkinsonism and hypoventilation.We sequenced DCTN1 in 636 Caucasian patients with parkinsonism (Parkinsons disease and Parkinson-plus syndromes) and 508 healthy controls. Variants (MAF<0.01) were subsequently genotyped in Caucasian (1360 cases and 1009 controls) and Asian cohorts (1046 cases and 830 controls), and the functional implications of pathogenic variants were assessed.We identified 17 rare variants leading to non-synonymous amino-acid substitutions. Four of the variants were only observed in control subjects, four in both cases and controls and the remaining nine in cases only. One of the variants, DCTN1 p.K56R, was present in two patients with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) with a shared minimal 2.2Mb haplotype. Both subjects have parkinsonism as the most prominent symptom with abnormal ocular movements, moderate cognitive impairment and little to no l-dopa response. Neither subject presents with depression, central hypoventilation or weight loss. For one of the subjects MRI shows symmetrical atrophy of temporal and frontoparietal lobes. In HEK293cells mutant p150(glued) (p.K56R) shows less affinity for microtubules than wild-type, with a more diffuse cytoplasmic distribution.We have identified DCTN1 p.K56R in patients with PSP. This variant is immediately adjacent to the N-terminal p150(glued) CAP-Gly domain, affects a highly conserved amino acid and alters the proteins affinity to microtubules and its cytoplasmic distribution.


Yorifuji T.,Harvard University | Yorifuji T.,Okayama University of Science | Debes F.,The Faroese Hospital System | Weihe P.,The Faroese Hospital System | And 2 more authors.
Neurotoxicology and Teratology | Year: 2011

Few studies have examined the effects of mixed metal exposures in humans. We have evaluated the effect of prenatal lead exposure in a Faroese birth cohort in the presence of similar molar-level exposure to methylmercury. A cohort of 1022 singleton births was assembled in the Faroe Islands during 1986-1987 from whom lead was measured in cord-blood. A total of 896 cohort subjects participated in a clinical examination at age 7 and 808 subjects in a second examination at age 14. We evaluated the association between cord-blood lead concentrations and cognitive deficits (attention/working memory, language, visuospatial, and memory) using multiple regression models. Overall, the lead concentration showed no clear pattern of association. However, in subjects with a low methylmercury exposure, after inclusion of statistical interaction terms, lead-associated adverse effects on cognitive functions were observed. In particular, higher cord-blood lead was associated with a lower digit span forward score on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R) [beta. = -1.70, 95% confidence interval (CI): -3.12 to -0.28] at age 7 and a lower digit span backward score on the WISC-R (beta. = -2.73, 95%CI: -4.32 to -1.14) at age 14. Some interaction terms between lead and methylmercury suggested that the combined effect of the exposures was less than additive. The present study indicates that adverse effects of exposure may be overlooked if the effects of a co-pollutant are ignored. The present study supports the existence of adverse effects on cognitive functions at prenatal lead exposures corresponding to an average cord-blood concentration of 16 μg/L. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.


Mohr M.,University of Exeter | Mohr M.,Gothenburg University | Mohr M.,Health Science University | Lindenskov A.,The Faroese Confederation of Sports and Olympic Committee | And 7 more authors.
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports | Year: 2014

The present study examined the effects of short-term recreational football training on blood pressure (BP), fat mass, and fitness in sedentary, 35-50-year-old premenopausal women with mild hypertension. Forty-one untrained, hypertensive women were randomized into a football training group (n=21; FTG) and a control group (n=20; CON). FTG performed 45±1 1-h small-sided football training sessions during the 15-week intervention period. BP, body composition (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry), blood lipid profile, and fitness level were determined pre- and post-intervention. After 15 weeks, systolic and diastolic BP, respectively, were lowered more (P<0.05) in FTG (-12±3 and -6±2mmHg) than in CON (-1±1 and 1±2mmHg). Total body fat mass decreased more (P<0.05) in FTG than in CON during the 15-week intervention period (-2.3±0.5kg vs 0.4±0.3kg). After 15 weeks, both total cholesterol (-0.4±0.1mmol/L vs 0.1±0.2mmol/L) and triglyceride (-0.2±0.1mmol/L vs 0.3±0.2mmol/L) were lowered more (P<0.05) in FTG than in CON. Yo-Yo intermittent endurance level 1 test performance increased more (P<0.05) in FTG than in CON (111±18% vs 1±3%) during the 15-week intervention period. In conclusion, short-term football training resulted in a marked reduction in BP and induced multiple improvements in fitness and cardiovascular health profile of untrained, premenopausal women with mild hypertension. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Petersen M.S.,The Faroese Hospital System | Guella I.,University of British Columbia | Bech S.,The Faroese Hospital System | Gustavsson E.,University of British Columbia | Farrer M.J.,University of British Columbia
Parkinsonism and Related Disorders | Year: 2015

Introduction: The Faroe Islands is a geographically isolated population in the North Atlantic with a high prevalence of Parkinson disease (PD). The disease etiology is still unknown, although dietary pollutants are considered a risk factor. The genetic risk underlying disease susceptibility has yet to be elucidated. Methods: Sequence analysis was performed in genes previously linked with PD in 91 patients and 96 healthy control subjects. Results: Fourteen missense mutations, of which one was novel, were identified in six genes. One patient (1%) did carry the known pathogenic mutation LRRK2 p.G2019S mutation, 19 patients (22%) did carry mutations of unknown significance while 70 patients (78.0%) did not have any identifiable genetic risk. A total of 14 controls (14.6%) carried mutations of unknown significance. Conclusion: This study suggests that rare variants in genes previously linked to PD are not major contributors to PD in the Faroe Islands. Further exome sequencing and comparative analyses within and among well-described pedigrees with multi-incident PD are now warranted. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Weihe P.,The Faroese Hospital System | Joensen H.D.,Chief Medical Officer in the Faroe Islands
International Journal of Circumpolar Health | Year: 2012

For centuries the pilot whale has been an important part Faroese life - both in regard to food and culture. However, studies dating back to 1977 have shown an increase in contamination of the meat, blubber, liver and kidneys of pilot whales. Several birth cohorts have been established in the Faroes in order to discover the health effects related to mercury and organchlorine exposure. In short the results have so far shown that: mercury from pilot whale meat adversely affects the foetal development of the nervous system; the mercury effect is still detectable during adolescence; the mercury from the maternal diet affects the blood pressure of the children; the contaminants of the blubber adversely affect the immune system so that the children react more poorly to immunizations; contaminants in pilot whales appear to increase the risk of developing Parkinson's disease in those who often eat pilot whale; the risk of hypertension and arteriosclerosis of the carotid arteries is increased in adults who have an increased exposure to mercury; septuagenarians with type 2 diabetes or impaired fasting glycaemia tended to have higher PCB concentrations and higher past intake of traditional foods, especially during childhood and adolescence. Also impaired insulin secretion appears to constitute an important part of the type 2 diabetes pathogenesis associated with exposure to persistent lipophilic food contaminants. From the latest research results, the authors consider that the conclusion from a human health perspective must be to recommend that pilot whale is no longer used for human consumption. © 2012 Pál Weihe and Høgni Debes Joensen.


Weihe P.,The Faroese Hospital System
International journal of circumpolar health | Year: 2012

For centuries the pilot whale has been an important part Faroese life--both in regard to food and culture. However, studies dating back to 1977 have shown an increase in contamination of the meat, blubber, liver and kidneys of pilot whales. Several birth cohorts have been established in the Faroes in order to discover the health effects related to mercury and organchlorine exposure. In short the results have so far shown that: mercury from pilot whale meat adversely affects the foetal development of the nervous system; the mercury effect is still detectable during adolescence; the mercury from the maternal diet affects the blood pressure of the children; the contaminants of the blubber adversely affect the immune system so that the children react more poorly to immunizations; contaminants in pilot whales appear to increase the risk of developing Parkinson's disease in those who often eat pilot whale; the risk of hypertension and arteriosclerosis of the carotid arteries is increased in adults who have an increased exposure to mercury; septuagenarians with type 2 diabetes or impaired fasting glycaemia tended to have higher PCB concentrations and higher past intake of traditional foods, especially during childhood and adolescence. Also impaired insulin secretion appears to constitute an important part of the type 2 diabetes pathogenesis associated with exposure to persistent lipophilic food contaminants. From the latest research results, the authors consider that the conclusion from a human health perspective must be to recommend that pilot whale is no longer used for human consumption.


PubMed | The Faroese Hospital System and University of Southern Denmark
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Paediatric and perinatal epidemiology | Year: 2016

Insufficient supply of vitamin D during early development may negatively affect offspring growth.We examined the association between umbilical cord (UC) serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations and infant size in a study of two Faroese birth cohorts of 1038 singleton infants. In the third trimester, the pregnant women completed questionnaires, and clinical examination included birthweight, head circumference, and infant length at age 14 days.Fifty-three percent of the newborn population had UC 25(OH)D < 25 nmol/L as determined by LC-MS/MS. Using multiple linear regression models with adjustment for pre-pregnancy BMI, sex, parity, gestational age, or infant age at examination, season of birth, smoking, gestational diabetes, examiner, and cohort identity, we found no relationship between birthweight or head circumference and UC 25(OH)D. However, infants with vitamin D status <12 nmol/L had a 0.49 (95% confidence interval 0.05, 0.93) cm lower length than infants with vitamin D status >50 nmol/L in models further adjusted for birthweight.Our data suggest that umbilical cord serum 25(OH)D concentrations are positively associated with infant length but not with birthweight and head circumference. Although the paediatric relevance of the observed association is unclear, the possible long-term consequences of late-pregnancy hypovitaminosis D deserve attention.

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