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Karsten Rex

Karsten Rex

Læge, Ph.d.

Grønlands Center for Sundhedsforskning

E-mail: kare@peqqik.gl

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Description of PhD project

Title: Hepatitis among Greenlanders in Denmark and in Greenland and the effect of chronic HBV infection in Greenland


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a common chronic viral infection that is particularly frequent in Arctic populations. Previous data suggest a new subtype B6 in Greenland that may influence the course of the disease. Such would be in keeping with the suggested lower risk of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma but remains to be settled. The very high frequency of HBV infection among Greenland Inuit may pose a risk to the population of and to societies in Greenland and monitoring of the disease is imperative. Migration from Greenland to Denmark is common and of the 18,500 persons in Denmark who are of Inuit descent 5,000 were born in Greenland. The interaction of HBV infection and migration needs to be elucidated. Also, alcohol influences health and the interaction with hepatitis B remains unsettled. These questions are addressed in the present PhD project carried out in Greenland and Denmark by a Greenlandic medical doctor in collaboration with the hepatitis laboratory at Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark.