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IELTS Reading Passage Greying Population Stays In The Pink
Greying Population Stays In The Pink
Elderly people are growing healthier, happier and more independent, say American scientists.
In the last 14 years, the National Long-term Health Care Survey has gathered data on the health and lifestyles of more than 20,000 men and women over 65. Researchers, now analysing the results of data gathered in 1994, say arthritis, high blood pressure and circulation problems – the major medical complaints in this age group – are troubling a smaller proportion every year.
‘It really raises the question of what should be considered normal ageing,’ says Kenneth Manton, a demographer from Duke University in North Carolina. He says the problems doctors accepted as normal in a 65-year-old in 1982 are often not appearing until people are 70 or 75. But there may be other contributing factors.
On the downside, the data also reveals failures in public health that have caused surges in some illnesses. . ‘These may be subtle influences,’ says Manton, ‘but our subjects have been exposed to worse and worse pollution for over 60 years. It’s not surprising we see some effect.’
For example, 65-year-old women with fewer than eight years of schooling are expected, on average, to live to 82. Those who continued their education live an extra seven years. Although some of this can be attributed to a higher income, Manton believes it is mainly because educated people seek more medical attention.
The survey also assessed how independent people over 65 were, and again found a striking trend. Almost 80% of those in the 1994 survey could complete everyday activities ranging from eating and dressing unaided to complex tasks such as cooking and managing their finances. If the trends apparent in the United States 14 years ago had continued, researchers calculate there would be an additional one million disabled elderly people in today’s population.
For instance, the use of raised toilet seats has more than doubled since the start of the study, and the use of bath seats has grown by more than 50%. These developments also bring some health benefits, according to a report from the MacArthur Foundation’s research group on successful ageing. The group found that those elderly people who were able to retain a sense of independence were more likely to stay healthy in old age.
He found that rats that exercise on a treadmill have raised levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor coursing through their brains. Cotman believes this hormone, which keeps neurons functioning, may prevent the brains of active humans from deteriorating.
As part of the same study, Teresa Seeman, a social epidemiologist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, found a connection between self-esteem and stress in people over 70. Chronically high levels of these hormones have been linked to heart disease.
But independence can have drawbacks. The research suggests that older people fare best when they feel independent but know they can get help when they need it.
‘Like much research into ageing, these results support common sense,’ says Seeman. They also show that we may be underestimating the impact of these simple factors. ‘The sort of thing that your grandmother always told you turns out to be right on target,’ she says.
Greying Population Stays In The Pink IELTS Reading Questions
Complete the summary using the list of words, A-Q, below.
Write the correct letter, A-Q, in boxes 1-9 on your answer sheet.
Research carried out by scientists in the United States has shown that the proportion of people over 65 suffering from the most common age-related medical problems is 1 ________ Answer: B Locate and that the speed of this change is 2 ________ Answer: ILocate. It also seems that these diseases are affecting people 3________ Answer: F Locate in life than they did in the past. This is largely due to developments in 4________ Answer: M Locate but other factors such as improved 5 ________ Answer: J Locate may also be playing a part. Increases in some other illnesses may be due to changes in personal habits and to 6________ Answer: NLocate. The research establishes a link between levels of 7________ Answer: K Locate and life expectancy. It also shows that there has been a considerable reduction in the number of elderly people who are 8________ Answer: G Locatewhich means that the 9________ Answer: A Locate involved in supporting this section of the population may be less than previously predicted.
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Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A-H, below.
Write the correct letter, A-H, in boxes 10-13 on your answer sheet.
A may cause heart disease.
B can be helped by hormone treatment.
C may cause rises in levels of stress hormones.
D have cost the United States government more than $200 billion.
E may help prevent mental decline.
F may get stronger at night.
G allow old people to be more independent.
H can reduce stress in difficult situations.
10 Home medical aids Answer: G
11 Regular amounts of exercise Answer: E
12 Feelings of control over life Answer: H
13 Feelings of loneliness Answer: C
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Greying Population Stays In The Pink Reading Answers
1. Answer: B
2. Answer: I
3. Answer: F
4. Answer: M
5. Answer: J
6. Answer: N
7. Answer: K
8. Answer: G
9. Answer: A
10. Answer: G
11. Answer: E
12. Answer: H
13. Answer: C
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