Many people turn to doctors or self-help books, but they ignore a powerful thing that could help them fight illness: their friends.
Researchers are only now starting to pay attention to the importance of friendship in health. A 10-year Australian study found that old people with a large circle of friends were 22 percent less likely to die during the study period than those with fewer friends. A large 2007 study showed an increase of nearly 60 percent in the risk for obesity (肥胖) among people whose friends gained weight. And last year, Harvard researchers reported that strong social ties could improve brain health as we age.
"In general, the role of friendship in our lives isn't well realized," said Rebecca, a professor at the University of North Carolina. "Friendship has a bigger effect on our psychological health than family relationships. "
While many friendship studies are about the close relationships of women, some research shows that men can benefit, too. In a six-year study of 736 middle-aged men, having friendships reduces the risk of heart attack. Only smoking was as important a risk factor (因素) as having little social support.
Exactly why friendship has such a big effect isn't entirely clear. While friends can send a sick person to the hospital or pick up medicine, the benefits go well beyond physical assistance. Friendship clearly has a big psychological effect. "People with stronger friendships feel like there is someone they can turn to," said Karen, a doctor. "The message of these studies is that friends make your life better. "
1.The three studies in the second paragraph show that _____.
A.old people need friends the most
B.friends can help us lose weight
C.social ties are connected to health
D.more friends make us healthier
2.What does the underlined sentence mean?
A.Friendship is more important to women than to men.
B.What people need most is a friend's care.
C.Friendship is more important than family relationship.
D.The value of friendship hasn't been fully understood.
3.The author mentioned smoking in the 4th paragraph to discuss _____.
A.the cause of heart attack
B.the risk of having no friends
C.smoking is bad for men
D.friends' influence on habits
4.What would be the best title of the text?
A.Friends Are Better than Medicine
B.Friends Are as Important as a Family
C.Having Good Friends Leads to a Healthier Life
D.Friendship Makes People Happy