Obesity and metabolic correlates among the Inuit and a general Danish population

Article English OPEN
Jørgensen, Marit E. (2004)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: International Journal of Circumpolar Health (issn: 1797-237X, eissn: 1239-9736)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/ijch.v63i0.17818
  • Subject: Greenland, Inuit, Anthropometry, obesity, metabolic syndrome

Obejectives. Obesity and central fat pattern are associated with several cardiovascular risk factors including insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, hypertension and dyslipidemia in most populations. The study aims to assess the occurrence and metabolic correlates of obesity among Greenlanders and Danes. Study design. From 1999 to 2001, 917 adult Inuit participated in a health survey in Greenland. The examination included an oral glucose tolerance test. Body Mass Index, waist circumference, and blood pressure were measured. P-glucose, sinsulin, and lipids were measured. Data from the Danish study ’Inter99’ (n=5606) conducted in 1999-2000 were used for comparison. Results. Compared with the Inter99 population, a larger proportion of Inuit women were centrally obese (58.1% vs.17.8%, p<0.001) and central obesity was present in 15.9% of Inuit men vs. 8.3% of the Danish men (p<0.001). At any given level of obesity the Inuit had lower levels of 2-hour glucose and insulin, blood pressure, triglyceride, and higher levels of HDL cholesterol than the Danish participants. Fasting glucose and fasting insulin levels within obesity categories were not different in the two populations. Conclusion. Central fat pattern and obesity are more prevalent among the Inuit, but the obesity observed among the Inuit is not associated with the same degree of metabolic disturbances as in a general Danish population.Keywords: Greenland, Inuit, Anthropometry, obesity, metabolic syndrome
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