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Sino-Canadian International College, Guangxi University, Online English Lesson Plans, Lesson Material and Ideas
for Reading Lessons...
Reading Exercise: "Aging"
the following article then answer the questions based on the article.
Everybody knows that older people are more likely to die than younger people
are. We know it from experience. We can also find the facts and
figures from life insurance tables. For example, in an advanced
country with a well-fed population, only about 1 in every 1,000 children
dies before his or her 12th year. However, 1 in every 20 men aged 70
will die before his 71st birthday.
The risk we run of dying at any particular age is called the force of
mortality for that age. The force of mortality has been carefully
worked out for all ages of people because this is what life insurance rates
are based on. Naturally, it grows steadily greater with age. The
reason that few people live more than 100 years, and never exceed 200 years,
is called aging.
We can recognize aging by the grey hair, weakened muscles, wrinkled skin,
loss of hearing and other signs that it produces. It also has a more
important effect on us, because it reduces our power of staying well and of
getting better if we fall ill. A common cold may not be serious for a
young person, but it can lead to death in an old person. This loss of
the power to stay healthy happens at about the same rate in everybody.
When we are young, our bodies can repair themselves. Unfortunately, as
we get older, we tend to be like an old car - more and more things start to
go wrong. The car goes into the garage to be checked by the mechanic
while we spend more time in clinics and hospitals with doctors. There
comes a time when it is very difficult for us to get repaired and we cannot
stay alive any more. This is the end of our life span.
Most people from the same background and culture have a similar life span.
In countries where there is enough food and medical services are good, the
most common life span is between 70 and 80 years. However, where there
is hunger and poor medical care, death amongst babies, called infant
mortality, is high, and the average life span may only be 40 to 45 years.
Some people, especially if they come from families which live for a long
time, can live 20 years more than the average. For example, in the
United States, 3 out of every 100 babies will live to the age of 90 and
about 1 in every 1,000 will live to be 100.
Women, for reasons not clearly understood, live longer than men on average.
This could be because their genetic make-up (two X chromosomes instead of
one) gives them a better chance. It is also possible that the higher
hormone levels in women help them to live longer.
Multiple Choice Questions. Circle the correct
1. In a group of 20 men who are 70 years old, how many
will probably die that year?
2. What is the normal life span in advanced countries?
40 - 45 years
70 - 80 years
3. What may the average life span be in poor countries?
70 - 80 years
40 - 45 years
4. Out of a hundred American babies, how many will live to
5. What is another name for the risk of dying at a
force of mortality
6. A car goes to a garage to get repaired. Where do
hospitals and clinics
7. What is another name for death amongst babies?
the force of mortality
8. How many X chromosomes have women got?
9. Where can you find information about how long people
in advanced countries
life insurance tables
10. Why doesn't anybody live more than 200 years?
11. Give TWO reasons why women may live longer than men.
genetic make-up and
having two X chromosomes instead of one
genetic make-up and higher hormonal levels
12. More children die in poor countries than in rich ones.
Is this statement true or false?
13. Grey hair and weak muscles are signs of age. Is
this statement true or false?
14. A common cold is dangerous for young and old people.
15. The average life span in poor countries is 40 - 80
years. Is this statement true or false?