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Greenland’s Centre for Health Research (GCHR) at the Institute of Nursing and Health Sciences was inaugurated at a meeting in Nuuk of the Danish-Greenlandic Society for Circumpolar Health in October 2008.


The aim of the Centre is to enhance cooperation between researchers from other countries and health professionals in Greenland, to facilitate research cooperation within Greenland, and to facilitate the interaction of researchers from other countries with the Greenland community at large. The Centre is active in teaching at all levels from classroom teaching of nursing students to supervision of PhD students. In a longer perspective, the Centre will work for the establishment of data archive and archive of specimens collected in Greenland.


The Centre’s vision is to improve the health status in Greenland through initiation and coordination of health research.


  • Increasing coordination among research institutions
  • Developing, exchanging, disseminating and applying scientific knowledge
  • Creating national and international networks
  • Building local capacity through PhD programs and mentoring
  • Improving community involvement and local partnerships
Advisory board
Partnership & network

The Centre works to forge links between research centres, independent scholars and students as well as health professionals in Greenland. GCHR is organised within the Institute of Nursing and Health Research at the University of Greenland. We collaborated with the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources on building project for the Centre. The Centre has signed Memorandum of Understanding with Canadian Institute for Circumpolar Health in Yellowknife (North West Territories) and the UArctic.

The Centre cooperates with:

  • Centre for Care Research at the Arctic University of Norway (UiT)
  • Arctic Transatlantic Telehealth Research Network

Furthermore, GCHR is co-organisation of NUNAMED, part of Thematic Network on Health and Well-being in the Arctic under University of the Arctic, and member of the Circumpolar Health Research Network.

If you would like to be part of our network of researchers, you are welcome to send us an e-mail to containing your name and areas of interest.

PhD programme

PhD students:

  • Paneeraq Noahsen, started 1 October 2017: "Thyroid function and autoimmunity among populations in Greenland with 10 and 20 years follow-up". Main supervisor: Stig Andersen
  • Mette Mørup Schlütter, started 1 October 2017: "Living with uncertainty in old age – an ethnographic exploration of the experience of old age in Greenland". Main supervisor: Lise Hounsgaard
  • Trine Jul Larsen, started 1 August 2018: "The use of artificial intelligence and telemedicine solutions, to assess diabetic eye diseases in Greenland". Main supervisor: Marit Eika Jørgensen
  • Christine Ingemann, started 2019: "From manual to practice: The implementation process of the parent-education program MANU 0-1 in Greenland – A qualitative study in dialogue with practice"
  • Anna Maria Anderson, started 2019: "Investigation of atopic dermatitis in Greenland; distinct genotypes, phenotypes and immunotypes"
  • Nadja Albertsen, started 2020: "Cardiac Arrhythmias in Greenland". Vejleder: Stig Andersen
  • Julie Flyger Holflod, started 2020: "Implementation of best practice models in treatment of alcohol and other addictions in Greenland". Vejleder: Christina Viskum Lytken Larsen
  • Ivalu Katjavaara Sørensen, started 2020: "Trajectories, risk factors and risk patterns for youth suicide in Greenland - A systematic approach based on registries and surveys". Vejleder: Christina Viskum Lytken Larsen
  • Hjalte Larsen, started 2020: "Undersøgelse af hjertesvigt i Grønland" ("Study of heart failure in Greenland"). Vejledere: Marit Eika Jørgensen & Michael Lynge Pedersen
  • Mie Møller, started 2021: "Aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Greenland". Vejleder: Anders Koch
  • Nick Duelund, started 2021: "Vision Screening in Greenlandic Children". Vejleder: Marit Eika Jørgensen
  • Maja Hykkelbjerg Nielsen, started 1 May 2022: "Patient education in Greenland: Development and feasibility testing of an intervention to patients with diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease". Main supervisor Ilisimatusarfik: Lene Seibæk. Main supervisor Aarhus University: Annesofie Lunde Jensen. Co-supervisor Ilisimatusarfik: Michael Lynge Pedersen
  • Mads Mose Jensen: "Sleep Apnea among high risk groups in Greenland". Supervisors: Preben Homøe, Marit Eika Jørgensen & Michael Lynge Pedersen

Completed PhD projects:

  • Arnfjord, Steven (2014): "Deltagende Aktionsforskning med Socialrådgivere - Empowerment af Grønlands oversete velfærdsprofession" ("Participating Action Research with Social Workers - empowerment of Greenland's overlooked welfare profession"). PhD thesis, Institute for Nursing and Health Sciences, Ilisimatusarfik / University of Greenland
  • Aagaard, Tine (2014): "Hverdagsliv med sygdom – Patienters kulturelle perspektiver på sundhedspraksis i Grønland" ("Everyday Life with Illness - patients' cultural perspectives on health practice in Greenland"). PhD thesis, Institute for Nursing and Health Sciences, Ilisimatusarfik / University of Greenland 
  • Todsen, Tobias (2016): "Surgeon-performed ultrasonography – Collecting validity evidence for assessment of abdominal and head & neck ultrasonography skills". PhD thesis, University of Copenhagen
  • Bjørn-Mortensen, Karen (2016): "Tuberculosis in East Greenland - Epidemiologic and Genomic Insights into a TB high incidence setting". PhD thesis, Department for Epidemiologic Research and National Reference laboratory for TB and Mycobacteria, Statens Serum Institute
  • Mikaela Augustussen (2018): "Palliation til grønlandske kræftpatienter i Grønland og i Danmark" ("Palliation for Greenlandic Cancer Patients in Greenland and Denmark"). PhD thesis, Institute for Nursing and Health Sciences, Ilisimatusarfik / University of Greenland
  • Karsten Rex (2019): "Hepatitis among Greenlanders in Denmark and in Greenland, and the effect of chronic HPV infection in Greenland". Læge kombineret med PhD forløb tilknyttet Aalborg Universitetshospital / Grønlands Center for Sundhedsforskning; 2014-2019
  • Malene B. Demant (2019): "Effekten af øredræn - et randomiseret kontrolleret studie blandt børn i Grønland. The SIUTIT Trial" ("The effect of ear drainage - a randomized controlled study among children in Greenland")
PhD committee

PhD committee of the Institute for Nursing and Health Sciences (Ilisimatusarfik) consists of:

  • Lene Seibæk (chair), professor, PhD, Institute of Nursing & Health Science, Ilisimatusarfik & senior researcher at Aarhus University Hospital
  • Aviaja Lyberth Hauptmann, PhD, postdoc., Institute of Nursing & Health Science, Ilisimatusarfik
  • Bodil H Blix, professor, PhD, Department of Health and Care Sciences, The Arctic University of Norway (UiT)
  • Stig Andersen, professor, PhD, senior consultant, Arctic Health Research Centre, Aalborg University & Greenland Centre for Health Research

Greenland Center for Health Research

Institute of Nursing & Health Science


Manutooq 1, 3905 Nuussuaq

P.O. Box: 1061





Seroprevalence for Brucella spp. in Baltic ringed seals (Phoca hispida) and East Greenland harp (Pagophilus groenlandicus) and hooded (Cystophora cristata) seals

Zoonotic infections transmitted from marine mammals to humans in the Baltic and European Arctic a ...

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Patient Participation in Healthcare Practice in Greenland: Local Challenges and Global Reflections

Various kinds of user and patient involvement are spreading in healthcare in most Wes ...

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Future directions for monitoring and human health research for the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme

For the last two and a half decades, a network of human health experts under the Arctic Monitorin ...

Immunisation rates among children in Nuuk

The children immunisation programme in Greenland correlates to the one in Denmark with the additi ...

Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, calcium and parathyroid hormone levels in Native and European populations in Greenland

Ca homoeostasis is important to human health and tightly controlled by powerful hormonal mechanis ...

Genetic determinants of glycated hemoglobin levels in the Greenlandic Inuit population

We previously showed that a common genetic variant leads to a remarkably increased risk of type 2 ...

Open publication
Development of health‐related quality of life and symptoms in patients with advanced cancer in Greenland

A prospective national cohort study assessed the development of health‐related quality of life (H ...

Measuring social inequality in health amongst indigenous peoples in the Arctic. A comparison of different indicators of social disparity among the Inuit in Greenland

The purpose of the article is to compare different indicators of social position as measures of s ...

Three lifestyle-related issues of major significance for public health among the Inuit in contemporary Greenland: a review of adverse childhood conditions, obesity, and smoking in a period of social transition

Greenland is a country in transition from a colonial past with subsistence hunting and fishing to ...

Prevalence of Diabetic Neuropathy in Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes and the Association with Insulin Pump Therapy

Aims: The aim was to investigate the prevalence of diabetic sensorimotor polyneuropathy (DSPN) an ...

RISING SUN: Prioritized Outcomes for Suicide Prevention in the Arctic

The Arctic Council, a collaborative forum among governments and Arctic communities, has highlight ...

Alcohol use and burden for 195 countries and territories, 1990-2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016

Background: Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for death and disability, but its overall associ ...

Associations between vitamin D status and atherosclerosis among Inuit in Greenland

Background and aims: Low levels of vitamin D are suspected to be a risk factor for cardiovascular ...

Loss-of-function variants in ADCY3 increase risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes

We have identified a variant in ADCY3 (encoding adenylate cyclase 3) associated with markedly inc ...

Identification of novel high-impact recessively inherited type 2 diabetes risk variants in the Greenlandic population

Aims/hypothesis: In a recent study using a standard additive genetic model, we identified a TBC1D ...

Gonorrhoea in Greenland: geographic differences in diagnostic activity and incidence of gonorrhoea in 2015

For decades the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) has been a health concern in Gre ...

Evidence-based nursing in Greenland: Pioneer spirit and long-term strategies for education and research

While healthcare in many Nordic countries is increasingly centralized, some nurses are working ve ...

Growth of children in Greenland exceeds the World Health Organization growth charts

Aim: Previous studies have found high rates of stunted linear growth in Greenlandic children. We ...

Whole blood mercury and the risk of cardiovascular disease among the Greenlandic population

Background: Studies have found mercury to be associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD), howeve ...

Improved survival of head and neck cancer patients in Greenland

Previously, head and neck cancer (HNC) patients in Greenland have had significant diagnostic dela ...

Prevalence of patients treated with anti-diabetic medicine in Greenland and Denmark. A cross-sectional register study

Diabetes mellitus is a large and growing worldwide health issue. Prior to this publication, a dir ...

Contributions of mean and shape of blood pressure distribution to worldwide trends and variations in raised blood pressure: a pooled analysis of 1018 population-based measurement studies with 88.6 million participants

Background: Change in the prevalence of raised blood pressure could be due to both shifts in the ...

Awareness of diabetes in the population of Greenland

Objective: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) may develop slowly with few symptoms and may remain undetected f ...

Gestational diabetes and macrosomia among Greenlanders. Time to change diagnostic strategy?

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a serious condition associated to both maternal and offspr ...

Microvascular complications in Nuuk, Greenland, among Greenlanders and non-Greenlanders diagnosed with type 2 diabetes

Aim: The objective of this study was to estimate and compare between Greenlanders and non-Greenla ...

Validation of cardiovascular diagnoses in the Greenlandic Hospital Discharge Register for epidemiological use

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In Greenland, valid ...

Reproductive factors, lifestyle and dietary habits among pregnant women in Greenland: The ACCEPT sub-study 2013–2015

Background: During past decades the formerly active lifestyle in Greenland has become sedentary, ...

Comparing health care workforce in circumpolar regions: patterns, trends and challenges

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Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Greenland 1983–2014 – Including Comparison With the Other Nordic Countries

Background: During the last decades, social and life-style changes in Greenland have led to an in ...

Biorefining and Biotechnology Opportunities in the West Nordic Region
Prevalence of antibodies against Brucella spp. in West Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and East Greenland muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus)

Zoonotic infections transmitted from terrestrial and marine mammals to humans in European Arctic ...

Open publication
Study of correlation between the NAT2 phenotype and genotype status among Greenlandic Inuit

N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) is the main enzyme metabolizing isoniazid and genotype-based treatme ...

Summary of available surveillance data on hepatitis C virus infection from eight Arctic countries, 2012 to 2014

We summarised available hepatitis C virus (HCV) surveillance data for 2012–14 from Arctic/sub-Arc ...

Tuberculosis in the Circumpolar Region, 2006–2012

SETTING: The northern circumpolar jurisdictions Canada (Northwest Territories, Nunavik, Nunavut, ...

Enhancing Well-Being Among Older People in Greenland through Partnerships of Research, Practice and Civil Society

This article focuses on the methodology of the project Ageing in the Arctic (AgeArc) – Wellbeing, ...

Open publication
Begreber om rehabilitering

Under indtryk af en stigende andel af ældre i befolkningen er rehabilitering på vej til at blive ...

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Genetic variations, exposure to persistent organic pollutants, and breast cancer risk: A Greenlandic case-control study

This study investigated the effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in xenobiotic and s ...

Persistent organic pollutants and hematological markers in Greenlandic pregnant women: The ACCEPT sub-study

The Arctic populations have high blood concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Ex ...