Røntgentjenester i forvaltningsområdene for samisk språklov og matchede kommuner i Nord Norge
Methods. The eight municipalities in northern Norway included in the administration area of the Sami language law (132,490 persons/year in the period 2003-2009, mean/year 19,363 inhabitants) were matched with a control group of 11 municipalities (135,539 persons/year, mean/year 18,927 inhabitants). Data on imaging exams were derived from a regional database including production data from all public and private institutions within the region. All four main modality groups (CR, CT, MR, US) were analysed. Variations for imaging frequency on each modality were compared between the Sami and non-Sami communities.
Results. A total of 278,832 medical imaging exams were performed during study period. The age adjusted exam rate (all modalities) was significantly higher (p<0.001) among non-Sami (females and males) compared to the Sami group. There was no difference with regard to conventional radiography (p=0.855). Whereas MR was more commonly employed in the Sami group (p<0.001), CT (p<0.001) and US (p=0.003) were more frequently used in the control group.
Conclusion. People living in Sami speaking communities experienced less CT and US exams, but had more MR exams than the control group. A relatively high physical activity and less cases of cancer may be an explanation.
The result will be followed up in further studies. If the lower cancer incidence and higher physical acticity in the Sami group can explain the differences, no further actions will be taken. However, further analysis have to be carried out before final conclusions can be drawn.