9 responses to 4 Reasons Why Amish Stay Healthy in Old Age
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    Kathy Rowe
    Comment on 4 Reasons Why Amish Stay Healthy in Old Age (February 16th, 2018 at 09:58)

    The Amish sure beat many others with all their hard labor. One thing I really admire about them is how the younger generation looks after the older folks in their golden years. Living close by but still having their privacy is a big plus too.

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    Comment on Lucky me! (February 16th, 2018 at 10:52)

    Lucky me!

    We are so lucky to have the best Amish neighbors-a family of three different homes, built next to each other at the end of our street and surrounded by farmland. Our neighbors are some of the happiest, friendliest people we’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. They are not just spiritual, they are fun-loving and charitable. Another reason for their longevity, I believe is their fellowship with friends and church members and family – on an ongoing basis. Happiness and laughter brings about healthy endorphins and when they say “laughter is the best medicine” they aren’t kidding. Studies have shown that getting together and socializing on a regular basis is very key to good health. They are so much smarter than the average bear. Love living amongst the Amish!

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      Debbie H
      Comment on You are so right. (February 17th, 2018 at 10:10)

      You are so right.

      You are so right Lorraine. I envy the elder Amish because of there closeness to family and friends. With families scattered far and near loneliness permeates the life of most elderly people. Even in our church families being a single elderly woman leaves you alone and not included in a lot of activities.

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      Comment on 4 Reasons Why Amish Stay Healthy in Old Age (February 19th, 2018 at 07:22)

      That sounds great Lorraine. I know a lot of people would like to have Amish neighbors and some even move to Amish communities to have just that. Good point on that fellowship factor, that’s something that’s probably hard to quantify but I’d bet it makes a difference.

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    Comment on Farm Accidents (February 18th, 2018 at 14:16)

    Farm Accidents

    It is a very interesting conversation to compare the old age health of the Amish against the general population. I did grow up with the Amish and went to school with them in the early school years so I have had some personal experience with them.

    I do believe that the Amish farm life has some positives and negatives from a health point of view. Even though the Amish lead a relatively “clean” life from the point of view of consuming the basics from the farm, vegetables, fruits, grains, meat and fowl, I think this diet is as a whole healthy but as mentioned, the Amish in general do not attempt to reduce some “bad” items in the diet, such as fats, sugar, carbohydrates and therefore will get those same high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes symptoms as the general population. I do not think that they are vigilant in carefully watching their diet. Some of this danger will be ameliorated by their hard work, and better psychological profile because of the family and group interaction.

    But, one area which has not been discussed, is in the area of accidents which may (?) or may not be higher than than that in the general population, but this is a general question where I have not seen any study.

    What kind of accidents do the Amish have?
    They are very susceptible to Farm Accidents. For example:
    1) Plowing fields by hand and using combines where extremities can be caught or injuries can occur.
    2) Proximity to farm animals, horses, etc.
    3) Driving on highways with horse and buggy and getting hit by automobiles. Happens constantly.
    4) Falling through ice, either in play or harvesting ice blocks for the cold storage.
    5) Etc.
    I would be welcome to review any formal studies which you can quote or provide in this area.

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      Comment on 4 Reasons Why Amish Stay Healthy in Old Age (February 19th, 2018 at 07:29)

      Randy, good question you raised, I have often wondered about this issue myself. We had a post in 2011 called “Is Amish Life More Dangerous?” on this topic. http://amishamerica.com/is-amish-life-more-dangerous/

      I’d need to looks a bit closer to see what studies there might be, in the meantime that post and the accompanying discussion might be of interest.

      Also, there have been formal attempts to improve farm safety by the Amish in partnership with outside organizations. Here is one example from 2000, where specialists from Penn State helped create a game for Amish children called Amos & Sadie’s Farm: A Pathway to Safety.


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    Comment on Hard to believe (February 28th, 2018 at 08:49)

    Hard to believe

    I have a very hard time believing that incredibly low average life span in 1900. I am a little surprised that the amish don’t have a longer life span considering they live in farm areas and don’t pollute themselves with tv but maybe the diet is an issue as well as a stricter lifestyle that may limit activities and ideas that promote health. I don’t know what that drug is that was mentioned but I can’t imagine it working. Sorry.

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      Comment on Life expectancy - 1900 (March 1st, 2018 at 10:47)

      Life expectancy - 1900

      Apparently life expectancy was really right around 47 in 1900, however what most struck me was the discrepancy between the Amish and the general population expectancy. Here are the general life expectancy figures dating to 1900 (page 30 of this doc; the figure given is actually a bit over 49 years, but for the period 1900-1902): https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr54/nvsr54_14.pdf

      The experimental drug is based on a gene mutation discovered in an Indiana Amish community, which has resulted in its carriers having not only a longer life span but also an extended “health span”. A Japanese company is currently testing it.

      More here: http://amishamerica.com/amish-gene-mutation-may-extend-lifespan-by-10-years/

      I think I’ll take the optimist perspective and say, well why not? 🙂

  • If Amish have less cancer etc., but the same lifespan as general population, then...

    If Amish have less cancer etc., but the same lifespan as general population, then they must be dying of other things more than the general population, right? I would have thought Amish would live way longer. Make ya wonder…

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