A social epidemiology aspect of Inuit Health in Transition Cecilia Petrine Pedersen, National Institute of Public Health, Copenhagen, Denmark Purpose: Greenland has a sad record of high suicide rates - especially among young men, and social neglect in the form of alcohol abuse in the childhood home, sexual assaults and violence is a part of life for many people in Greenland. The purpose of this study is to draw a picture of social and mental health conditions in Greenland today among adult men and women by looking at suicidal behaviour and social neglect. Methods: Data is based on the Greenlandic part of the cross-sectional population survey Inuit Health in Transition collected from 2005 to 2007. 2246 participants in towns and villages in West Greenland answered a questionnaire. Descriptive statistical analysis of suicidal behaviour (suicide ideation, suicide attempts and suicide among family and friends) and sexual assaults, exposure to violence and alcohol in childhood home is used to describe the current picture of social and mental well-being of men and women in Greenland. Results: Women more often reported suicidal ideations and suicide attempts than did men; 15% of men and 19% of women had ever had suicidal ideations with 6% and 9%, respectively, within the last year of the survey. 10% of men and 16% of women had ever attempted suicide with 1.5% and 3.2%, respectively, within the last year of the survey. Growing up in a home with alkohol problems and being the victim of sexual abuse significantly increased the risk of suicidal behaviour.
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The annual workshop of the international network for circumpolar health research, 2008