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Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2011 Jan;15(1):44-9.

Risk factors for tuberculosis in Greenland: case-control study.

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Medical Department, Queen Ingrids Hospital, Nuuk, Greenland.



Despite several efforts aiming at disease control, the incidence of tuberculosis (TB) remains high in Greenland, averaging 131 per 100,000 population during the period 1998-2007. The purpose of the present study was to disclose risk factors for TB.


A case-control study was performed among 146 patients diagnosed with TB in the period 2004-2006. For each patient, four healthy age- and sex-matched control persons living in the same district were included. All participants completed a questionnaire regarding socio-demographic and lifestyle factors. Risk factor analyses were carried out using logistic regression models.


Factors associated with TB were Inuit ethnicity, living in a small settlement, unemployment, no access to tap water, no bathroom or flushing toilet, underweight, smoking, frequent intake of alcohol and immunosuppressive treatment. The multivariate model showed that Inuit ethnicity (OR 15.3), living in a settlement (OR 5.1), being unemployed (OR 4.1) and frequent alcohol use (OR 3.1) were independent determinants of risk. Unemployment was associated with the highest population-attributable risk (29%).


Risk factors associated with living in a settlement should be further explored and an investigation of genetic susceptibility is warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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