AKC Double Seminar: Diabetes among Greenland Inuit. The epidemiological perspective

Professor Marit Eika Jørgensen

August Krogh Club Double Seminar

14:00-15:00: Marit Eika Jørgensen: "Diabetes among Greenland Inuit. The epidemiological perspective"
15:00-16:00: Torben Hansen: "Diabetes among Greenland Inuit. The genetic perspective”
16:00-17:00: Post seminar servings and socializing.

Diabetes among Greenland Inuit. The epidemiological perspective

v/ Professor Marit Eika Jørgensen, MD, PhD, Head of Clinical Epidemiology at Steno Diabetes Centre and professor in Arctic Health at Southern Denmark University, Denmark.

Research profile

Professor Marit Eika Jørgensen, MD, PhD. is an endocrinologist and Head of Clinical Epidemiology at Steno Diabetes Centre and professor in Arctic Health at Southern Denmark University. Marit has conducted population studies of diabetes and cardiovascular disease among Greenland Inuit since 1998.

The research activities include studies of diabetes complications and screening methods based on deep learning approaches. A further focus area is the demographic analysis of the burden of DM through linkage of the extensive collection of national registries. Both research lines are connected through use of the registries to follow participants of the cohorts.

Marit Eika Jørgensen is engaged in National Quality Assurance of diabetes care in Denmark and Greenland. She received the ‘Schwartz-Sørensen’ award in 2018 and ‘burden of diabetes award’ under EASD in 2003 and is author of over 200 original research papers, reports and book chapters.

About the seminars

Indigenous people worldwide are in the middle of a social, demographic and cultural transition, which through changes in life style and living conditions results in an epidemiological transition. Inuit are a historically isolated indigenous population, for which both information about the genetic population structure, social transition and the disease pattern is exceptionally good and it is therefore ideal to study the consequences of the social transition on the changing disease pattern in this population.

While studies of Greenland Inuit before the 1980s found a low prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) compared to Western populations, two recent population studies among more than 4000 Greenland Inuit found a notably high prevalence of T2D (9%) and pre-diabetes (19%) in the adult population.

We previously identified a loss-of-function variant in TBC1D4 segregating at high frequency in the Greenlandic population displaying a high impact on risk of type 2 diabetes, and recently we discovered a loss-of-function variant in adenylate cyclase 3 (ADCY3) that strongly associates with obesity and type 2 diabetes.

The observed effect sizes are several times larger than any previous findings in large-scale genome-wide association studies, confirming the advantage of studying the Greenlandic population due to its extreme demographic history, which allows for the existence of common variations that are rare or absent elsewhere.


Auditorium 1, August Krogh Building, Universitetsparken 13, DK-2100 Copenhagen


Participation is free, but please register here.

For PhD students

PhD students participating in August Krogh seminars receive 0,2 ECTS per seminar


Jonas Møller Kristensen, jmkristensen@nexs.ku.dk 

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