ALL ABOARD! “Qanuqitpit? Qanuippitali? Kanuivit?” for Inuit adults, 18 and older, took place on the Canadian Coast Guard Ship, Amundsen.

The Inuit Health Survey for adults involved questionnaires about:

  • Household crowding and food security
  • Nutrition, country food and eating habits
  • Mental health and community wellness
  • Medical history

Clinical tests included:

  • Heart health including blood pressure, pulse and carotid artery health
  • Blood glucose and diabetes risk
  • Height, weight, body composition and waist circumference
  • Exposure to infection (H. pylori and zoonosis)
  • Bone health (women >40 years only)
  • Nutrient status including vitamin A, vitamin D, iron, selenium and fatty acids
  • Exposure to environmental contaminants

How did it happen?

“Qanuqitpit? Qanuippitali? Kanuivit?” took place in each community with the help of Community Research Assistants, Land Teams and the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Amundsen.

Community Research Assistants:
Community Research Assistants were hired in each participating community in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Nunavut and Nunatsiavut. In the weeks leading up to the Amundsen‘s arrival, Community Research Assistants began to recruit randomly selected households to take part in the Health Survey.

The Land Team:
A Land Team of nurses and interviewers arrived in each community a few days ahead of the CCGS Amundsen. Adult participants completed initial parts of the survey with the Land Team, at a location in their community. This included watching a DVD information guide that complemented the written consent form. The Land Team also conducted some questionnaires about the household.

CCGS Amundsen:

The Inuit Health Survey was invited to 24 coastal communities in Nunavut, four in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and five in Nunatsiavut. Inuvik and Aklavik in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and Baker Laker in Nunavut were visited by seperate land teams.

When the Amundsen arrived, adults visited the ship to complete the Inuit Health Survey. This included answering questionnaires about general health, eating habits and country food and mental health and community wellness and completing clinical tests. Participants returned to their communities after their appointment on the ship.

International Inuit Cohort:

Data from the Inuit Health Survey will form a baseline with which future information on Inuit health can be compared. Adults who participated in the survey were asked if they wish to participate in a follow-up evaluation in seven years, as part of the International Inuit Cohort. Parts of the health survey will be repeated at various points in the future so we can understand how health is changing over time.

Similar Inuit Health Surveys have taken place in Nunavik, Greenland and Alaksa.

Together with “Qanuqitpit? Qanuippitali? Kanuivit?” these surveys form the International Inuit Cohort, which will look at how health is changing for Inuit living in various places in the world. The purpose of the International Inuit Cohort is:

  • To understand what is protecting Inuit from diabetes and heart disease as well as what is contributing to the emergence of these diseases; and
  • To provide an Inuit specific context to improve health promotion and interventions.