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     Volume 4 Issue 45 | May 6, 2005 |

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Look in the dictionary to find the word family of the word 'stress'. Share what you find with your friends and talk briefly about whether these words apply to you.

DEFINITIONS: match the following words with the definitions:

TRUE/FALSE: predict whether the following statements about the article are true or false:

(a) Stress can reduce your lifespan. T / F
(b) Stress decelerates the aging of our cells T / F
(c) Stress makes us more prone to age-related diseases. T / F
(d) People with hectic lifestyles are more likely to live longer T / F
(e) Our body's system of cell reproduction gets faster because of stress. T / F
(f) We age because of something connected with our DNA called telomeres. T / F
(g) Having very short telomeres means we live longer. T / F
(h) Having children makes you die early. T / F
(i) We may soon be able to measure our stress levels. T / F

Now read the article and check your predictions.

Get Stressed, Get Old

It's official. Stress can take ten years off your life. That's the conclusion from researchers at the University of California, who have been studying the affect of stress levels on the body. They found that stress accelerates the aging of our cells, which makes us more prone to age-related diseases. This is bad news for people with stressful jobs and hectic lifestyles as they are more likely to die earlier than less-stressed people. It's a message for us all to slow down and take things easier.
The researchers discovered in their tests that the system of cell reproduction and replacement, which of course keeps us going, becomes faster under duress. Each time a cell in our body is replaced, part of our DNA, called telomeres, shorten. When these telomores become too short, cells cease reproducing and our bodies continue the aging process. This means longer telomeres lengthen our lives. Stress makes them shorter, and so we die prematurely. The simple message, therefore, is to take life easy.
Research leader, Dr. Elissa Epel, compared 39 women who looked after children with chronic illnesses with a 'control' group of 19 mothers of healthy children. The length of the life-giving telomeres was then measured in their blood. The women who had the more stressful task of caring for chronically ill children aged the equivalent of ten years compared with the other women. Their stress levels caused them to age faster. It has always been common knowledge that stress kills. Now we may soon be able to measure how dangerous our careers and lifestyles really are.

PHRASE MATCH: think about the article and match the following phrases taken from the text:

COLLOCATION: Match the words which go together:

Discuss the following ideas with a friend
1. What are some of the most common causes of stress?
2. What are some early signs of stress?
3. How do you tend to react to stress?
4. How does stress affect your body and health?
5. What are some of the most stressful life events?


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