We performed one of the first systematic, population-based surveys of women in Amish culture. We used these data to examine health status and health risks in a representative sample of 288 Amish women ages 18-45 living in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in particular for risks associated with preterm and low birthweight infants, compared with a general population sample of 2,002 women in Central Pennsylvania. Compared with women in the general population, Amish women rated their physical health approximately at the same level, but reported less stress, fewer symptoms of depression, and had higher aggregate scores for mental health. Amish women reported low levels of intimate partner violence, high levels of social support, and they perceived low levels of unfair treatment owing to gender compared with the general population. Amish women also reported higher fertility, fewer low birthweight babies, but the same number of preterm births as the general population. The findings suggest that these outcomes may be due to higher levels of social support and better preconceptional behavior among Amish women.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Maternity and Midwifery