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Nord J Psychiatry. 2009;63(4):331-5. doi: 10.1080/08039480902799040.

The prevalence of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in Greenland is related to latitude.

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Department of Psychiatry, Ballerup, Ballerup Boulevard 2, Ballerup 2750, Denmark.


The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in Greenlanders and Danes living at four different latitudes in Greenland. A Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire (SPAQ) was mailed to 6021 men and women between the ages of 18 and 59 years living in four different municipalities in Greenland. The recipients were randomly selected from the National Population Register. Approximately 9% of the respondents met the criteria for SAD, and the incidence of SAD varied between a southern municipality and three northern municipalities. The prevalence of SAD was particularly high in northern municipalities. No significant difference was found in the prevalence of SAD between Greenlanders and Danes. The results are comparable with other population studies that have reported a high prevalence of SAD in arctic areas. The clinical implications of our findings and the possibilities for introducing light therapy should be assessed in future studies.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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