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Healthy Lifestyle vs. Medical Care

An interesting study compares the health and longevity of Amish adults with average Caucasian adults living in the same area. The Amish people live a much healthier lifestyle and historically don’t believe in the use of electricity, machinery or technology. The Amish also tend to limit health care to what is required to address injury and serious disease. Making this comparison essentially shows the difference between a lifestyle reliant on medical care with one that focuses on basic healthy living.

The authors note:

  • “Our analyses reveal that OOA (Amish) men experience better longevity than Caucasian men from the FHS (non-Amish) and OOA women experience comparable longevity, despite a much lower rate of hospitalizations. This is a remarkable observation in light of escalating costs of medical care in the US.
  • “We quantified a dramatically lower hospitalization discharge rate in OOA compared to the US Caucasians. The lower rate among the OOA is evident across a wide spectrum of diagnostic categories.
  • “We speculate that lifestyle factors may predispose the OOA to better health, lesser need for hospitalizations, and greater longevity.”

The authors ultimately conclude “our results suggest that interventions targeted at lifestyle factors may have higher impact on improving lifespan at the population level than improvements in medical technology and medical care access.”

Read the Entire Study

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