The effect of household crowding and composition on health in an Inuit cohort in Greenland

Charlotte B. Hansen*, Christina V.L. Larsen, Peter Bjerregaard, Mylene Riva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Aims: This study aims to investigate the association between household crowding and household composition and self-rated health and mental health (GHQ scale) among the Inuit in Greenland. Poor housing conditions are a concern in Greenland, especially in the villages, where socioeconomic standards in general are lower. Methods: A cohort of 1282 adults participated in two population-based surveys in Greenland, the Inuit Health in Transition survey 2005–2010 (baseline) and The Health Survey in Greenland 2014 (follow-up). Associations between household conditions at baseline and health outcomes at follow-up (poor self-rated health and mental health measured by the GHQ scale) were examined using logistic regression models, adjusting for covariates at baseline. Results: Participants living in an overcrowded dwelling (more than one person per room) at baseline were more likely to report poor self-rated health at follow-up (OR 1.47; 95% CI 1.09; 1.99) compared with those not living in an overcrowded dwelling. In addition, participants who lived alone at baseline were more likely (OR 1.98; 95% CI 1.09; 3.58) to experience poor mental health at follow-up compared with those who lived with children. Conclusions: Results indicate that household conditions are related to health in Greenland. Public health authorities should work to ensure affordable housing of good quality in all communities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)921-930
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • crowding
  • Greenland
  • household composition
  • Indigenous health
  • mental health
  • self-rated health
  • Humans
  • Crowding
  • Inuits
  • Family Characteristics
  • Health Surveys
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Greenland/epidemiology


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