Asthma and the Amish; And Can You Spot The Error?

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A study has been released comparing the asthma and hay fever rates of Amish children and Swiss children and Swiss non-farm children.  The one group I’ve not been able to find included in the study are non-Amish American farm children. Maybe I just missed it but I’ve read several abstracts of the study and can find no mention.  That, to me, would seem to be important because is the study showing that AMISH children have lower asthma rates or FARM children in general?  I’m unclear.  I get that the study includes Swiss farm kids…but…I don’t know, maybe I’m missing something?  The study’s findings show that Amish farm children have the lowest rates of asthma among the groups.  It would have been helpful to include non-Amish American farm kids in the study because that would seem to eliminate any genetic factors found among the insular Amish that might fight off asthma.  The study would seem to point to various environmental factors found on the farm that might inhibit asthma and hay fever.   For instance, perhaps, we’ve all gone overboard on anti-bacterial sanitizers and the like.  And, now – SIGH – this is an example of how the internet can echo-chamber an error.  This is a more mainstream “wire service” version of the asthma story that is running…I first spotted the error on one news site this morning, now it is all over, can anyone spot what it is?

 

 

 

 

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The Discussion

  1. Sandra Kaczanowcke says:


    Swiss children and Swiss non-farm children? Aren’t they the same thing?

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  2. Amish farm children in Switzerland?? I tho’t there were only Amish in North America now. Is that the error?

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  3. Linda Clark says:


    Well I haven’t spotted any errors but, possibly not looking it over well enough. I do however have a couple of my own ideas why ALL farm children are healthier in general than other children. The farm has so many different things that children are exposed to early in life. Building up immunities could be the reason. Getting far more fresh air and sunshine could be another reason. Also getting in a fair amount of good healthy work! Food is grown or raised on the farm and generally free of commecials

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  4. Julie Stacey says:


    Linda is totally on the right track with her answer! Its called the “hygiene” hypothesis. When you are exposed to lots of different things as a child, your immune system “learns” not only what is dangerous and what is not, but it seems to work more efficiently as well. When children are only exposed to “super clean” environments, their immune systems don’t properly learn what is dangerous, and what are appropriate reactions. So these immune systems overreact when exposed to even harmless things (pollen…) causing very severe allergy and asthma symptoms. It explains the majority of my allergy and asthma issues…

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  5. There are no Amish in Switzerland.

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  6. Susan GIll says:


    “Children growing up in the Amish culture in Switzerland”. There are no Amish in Switzerland.

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