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Journal Article


Miller K, Yost B, Abbott C, Thompson Buckland S, Dlugi E, Adams Z, Rajagopalan V, Schulman M, Hilfrank K, Cohen MA. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019; 16(13): e16132378.


Department of Biology, Franklin & Marshall College, 415 Harrisburg Ave., Lancaster, PA 17603, USA.


(Copyright © 2019, MDPI: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute)






We performed a health needs assessment for five Plain communities in Pennsylvania from a random sample of households, comparing them to the general population of Pennsylvania adults. Plain respondents were more likely to drink well water, as likely to eat fruit and vegetables and much more likely to drink raw milk and be exposed to agricultural chemicals. Plain respondents were less likely to receive screening exams compared to the general population and there was variation from settlement to settlement in whether respondents had a regular doctor, whether they received preventive screenings or had their children vaccinated, with Mifflin County Amish generally lowest in these and Plain Mennonites highest. Plain respondents reported good physical and mental health compared to the general population but Groffdale Mennonite respondents had a high proportion of diagnoses of depression and were more likely to be receiving treatment for a mental health condition. Most Plain respondents would want a spouse tested for genetic disease with Mifflin County Amish least in favor of these tests. Despite their geographic and genetic isolation, the health of Plain communities in Pennsylvania is similar to that of other adults in the state.

Language: en


Amish; Old Order Mennonite; health needs; household survey


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