Cardiovascular Disease Susceptibility and Resistance in Circumpolar Inuit Populations

Maria Tvermosegaard, Inger Katrine Dahl-Petersen, Nina Odgaard Nielsen, Peter Bjerregaard, Marit Eika Jørgensen

26 Citationer (Scopus)


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major public health issue in indigenous populations in the Arctic. These diseases have emerged concomitantly with profound social changes over the past 60 years. The aim of this study was to summarize the literature on CVD risk among Arctic Inuit. Literature on prevalence, incidence, and time trends for CVD and its risk factors in Arctic Inuit populations was reviewed. Most evidence supports a similar incidence of coronary heart disease and a higher incidence of cerebrovascular disease among Arctic Inuit than seen in western populations. Factors that may increase CVD risk include aging of the population, genetic susceptibility, and a rapid increase in obesity, diabetes, and hypertension in parallel with decreasing physical activity and deterioration of the lipid profile. In contrast, and of great importance, there has been a decrease in smoking and alcohol intake (at least documented in Greenland), and contaminant levels are declining. Although there have been marked socioeconomic and dietary changes, it remains unsolved and to some extent controversial how this may have influenced cardiovascular risk among Arctic Inuit. The increase in life expectancy, in combination with improved prognosis for patients with manifest CVD, will inevitably lead to a large increase in absolute numbers of individuals affected by CVD in Arctic Inuit populations, exacerbated by the rise in most CVD risk factors over the past decades. For preventive purposes and for health care planning, it is crucial to carefully monitor disease incidence and trends in risk factors in these vulnerable Arctic populations.

TidsskriftThe Canadian journal of cardiology
Udgave nummer9
Sider (fra-til)1116-23
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2015
Udgivet eksterntJa


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