The dogs who safeguard our hearts 養狗能保護我們的心臟健康

Are dogs good for our health?

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有人說養寵物對人類身心健康有好處,那麼養狗真的可以讓人健康長壽嗎?據一項最近調查顯示,狗主人患心血管疾病的可能性要遠低於不養狗的人。這是為什麼呢?這項調查的結果可信嗎?本集《隨身英語》探討養狗和人類心臟健康之間的聯系。

課文內容

Vocabulary: dogs and hearts 詞匯:犬和心臟

As a dog lover, our canine companions always fill me with joy. Whether pedigree or mongrel, tame or stray, whenever I see one, I smile. After all, their loyalty is indisputable, their companionship is always welcome, they fetch for us, guard for us and even work for us when required. Good old Fido has always been close to my, and many other’s hearts.

Well, not content with just warming the cockles of your heart, it seems that our four-legged-friends actually lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a 2017 scientific study, which looked at 3.4 million Swedes from 2001 to 2012.

The study concluded that this lower risk, which was particularly evident in owners of hunting breeds, may not just be due to the increased physical activity that goes hand-in-hand with owning a dog, but could also be down to dogs increasing the owner’s social contact, or by changing the owner’s bacterial microbiome, which is the collection of microscopic species that live in the gut. Dogs change the dirt in home environments and therefore expose people to bacteria that they would otherwise not encounter.

These effects were particularly marked in those who lived on their lonesome. According to Mwenya Mubanga of Uppsala University and lead author of the study, “single dog owners had a 33% reduction in risk of death and an 11% reduction in risk of cardiac arrest compared to single non-owners.”

However, before your heart skips a beat, Tove Fall, senior author of the study, also adds that there may be limitations. It’s possible that the differences between owners and non-owners, which already existed before the dog was bought, could have influenced the results – or that people who are generally more active also tend to get a dog anyway.

It seems that the results are not as clear cut as they initially appear to be, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s ok. I love dogs for how they make me feel and, cardiovascular benefits or not, they’ll always be top dog to me – cross my heart.

詞匯表

canine 犬的
pedigree(動物)純種
mongrel 雜種狗
tame(尤指動物)溫順的
stray 流浪的
companionship 陪伴,友誼
fetch 拿來,取回,
guard 守衛,保護
Fido 對寵物狗的一個通用名稱
close to one’s heart 貼近某人的心
warm the cockles of your heart 溫暖你的內心
cardiovascular 心血管的
breed(動物)品種
physical activity 體育運動
social contact 社會關系,社會往來
bacterial microbiome 細菌微生物群
gut 腸道
on one’s lonesome 單獨的,獨自的
cardiac arrest 心臟停搏
your heart skips a beat(形容緊張或興奮)心跳停了一下
top dog 最好的狗,勝利者
cross my heart 我保証所說屬實

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What reasons does the author give for loving dogs?

2. When did the study mentioned in the article take place and who were its participants?

3. Which three reasons are given for a dog reducing a person’s cardiovascular risk?

4. True or false? Single-household dog owners see no health benefits compared to single-household non-owners.

5. What limitations are mentioned that could affect the results of the study?

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. That dog doesn’t have an owner so come away immediately. Can’t you see it’s a ______? It might have a disease!

tame       Fido       stray       mongrel

2. Quickly, nurse. He’s going into ______. Get me the defibrillator!

microbiome       top dog       canine       cardiac arrest

3. He won’t bite, but he doesn’t like being touched. It’s ______ his last owner, who used to beat him.

cross my heart       down to       clear cut       breeds

4. How can you not see it? There’s a ______ difference between the first picture and the second!

marked       gut       hand-in-hand       tame

5. Please stop smoking, son. It goes ______ with cancer and you don’t want that.

skips a beat       cross my heart       on their lonesome       hand-in-hand

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What reasons does the author give for loving dogs?
They fill the author with joy. Their loyalty is indisputable, their companionship is always welcome, they fetch for us, guard for us and even work for us when required

2. When did the study mentioned in the article take place and who were its participants?
The study took place between 2001 and 2012. Its participants were 3.4 million Swedes.

3. Which three reasons are given for a dog reducing a person’s cardiovascular risk?
The increased physical activity associated with dog ownership, the increased social contact and the change of the owner’s microbiome.

4. True or false? Single-household dog owners see no health benefits compared to single-household non-owners
False. Single dog owners had a 33% reduction in risk of death and 11% reduction in risk of cardiac arrest compared to single non-owners.

5. What limitations are mentioned that could affect the results of the study?
There may be a difference between dog owners and non-owners that existed before the dog was obtained. It’s also possible that people who tend to buy dogs are also generally more active.

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. That dog doesn’t have an owner so come away immediately. Can’t you see it’s a stray? It might have a disease.

2. Quickly, nurse. He’s going into cardiac arrest. Get me the defibrillator.

3. He won’t bite, but he doesn’t like being touched. It’s down to his last owner, who used to beat him.

4. How can you not see it? There’s a marked difference between the first picture and the second!!

5. Please stop smoking, son. It goes hand-in-hand with cancer and you don’t want that.

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