Awareness of diabetes in the population of Greenland

Michael Lynge Pedersen


Objective: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) may develop slowly with few symptoms and may remain undetected for many years, leading to severe complications that potentially could have been prevented with timely diagnosis and treatment. Undiagnosed diabetes has been reported high in Greenland. However, awareness and knowledges about diabetes in the general population remains unexplored.
Methods: This study was performed as an observational cross sectional study based on telephone interview among a random sample of Greenlanders. The interview was performed in Greenlandic or Danish according to participant’ preference and included information about age, gender, place of birth, place of residence, medical history of diabetes, awareness of the diabetes, risk factors, symptoms, complications, and local possibilities to get tested for diabetes.
Results: In total, telephone contact was established with 196 adults. Of those, 161 participants completed the interview while 35 were unwilling to participate in the interview corresponding to a response rate of 82% (161/196). The majority of responders, 85.7%, were aware of diabetes and local testing possibilities. However, only around 65% were aware of risk factors of diabetes. Also, the knowledge about common symptoms of diabetes was quite low, around 50%, and in particular low, around 40%, among males and inhabitants in settlements.
Conclusions: The vast majority of the population was aware of diabetes. However, the present study revealed shortage of knowledge of common risk factors, symptoms, and complications to diabetes. This is challenging the effort to prevent diabetes and new alternative information strategies are needed. Furthermore, the shortage of knowledges of risk factors may not be isolated to diabetes and further studies on health literacy in Greenland are recommended.

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Clinical Nursing Studies
ISSN 2324-7940(Print)   ISSN 2324-7959(Online)

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