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Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease

Drink at least five glasses of water every day to lower your risk for heart disease.Dr. Mark Reeves

Patricia Kelikani, Health Journalist (Co-host): Think about how much water you drink in a typical day?

Dr. Mark Reeves, Surgical Oncologist (Co-host): Would you drink more water if you knew it would reduce your risk of heart disease by half?

Dr. Synnove Knutsen, LLU Professor of Preventive Medicine: About 40 percent of people in this country die of cardiovascular disease, so it is a serious disease that develops over many, many years and the good news is it is preventable.

DR. REEVES: Heart disease is caused when any blockage in your arteries keeps the heart from receiving enough blood.

KELIKANI: The build-up of plaque can result from risk factors like smoking, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

DR. REEVES: This Loma Linda University Health study followed 34,000 Californians over 15 years.

KNUTSEN: “Both men and women who drank five or more glasses of water per day had about half the risk of dying of coronary heart disease.”

KELIKANI: And that’s the simple tip for the day.

DR. REEVES: Drink at least five glasses of water every day to lower your risk for heart disease.

KNUTSEN: “You can spice it up with some lemon or lime or orange slices.”

KELIKANI: Herbal teas without sugar have also shown a similar effect on lowering your risk of heart disease.

DR. REEVES: But remember, drinks like juice and soda are high in sugar and won’t give us the benefit of lowering your risk of heart disease.

KELIKANI: There’s your simple tip for the day on how you can live healthier, longer.

About 40 percent of people in this country die of cardiovascular disease .Dr. Synnove Knutsen

Researcher Biography

Dr. Synnove Knutsen received her MD from the University of Oslo, Norway in 1972. She received the MPH in Epidemiology from Loma Linda University School of Public Health in 1977 and the PhD in Epidemiology/Preventive Medicine in 1990 from the University of Tromso, Norway. She was a Public Health officer in Norway for several years and later a professor at the University of Tromso, Norway where she taught Family Medicine and Epidemiology and did research using data from the Tromso Health Study cohort.

Knutsen spent a one year sabbatical working with the Honolulu Heart Study and the Hawaii part of the INTERSALT study in Hawaii from 1984-85 and a second sabbatical working with the Adventist Health Study in 1991. She was recruited to the position of Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at LLU School of Public Health in 1992, a position she held until 2013.

Knutsen is currently a professor of Epidemiology and a co-investigator on the Adventist Health Study-2 and involved in several funded research projects. She has served on numerous doctoral committees both at LLU and in Norway. Her research interests include lifestyle and chronic disease (cardiovascular disease, cancer and bone health), epigenetics, lifestyle and use of health services as well as more clinical studies.

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