HealthDay News – The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends behavioral counseling to promote a healthy lifestyle for adults at risk for cardiovascular disease. These recommendations form the basis of a draft recommendation statement published online May 12 by the USPSTF.

Elizabeth A. O’Connor, PhD, from the Kaiser Permanente Evidence-Based Practice Center in Portland, Oregon, and colleagues reviewed the benefits and harms of behavioral counseling interventions to improve diet and increase physical activity among adults with cardiovascular risk factors. Data were included from 94 randomized trials with 52,174 participants. The researchers found that behavioral counseling interventions were associated with a significantly reduced risk for cardiovascular events (pooled relative risk, 0.80; 95% confidence interval, 0.73 to 0.87) and with reduced risks for myocardial infarction (pooled relative risk, 0.85; 95% confidence interval, 0.70 to 1.02) and stroke (pooled relative risk, 0.52; 95% confidence interval, 0.25 to 1.10).

Based on these findings, the USPSTF concluded with moderate certainty that there is a modest net benefit for behavioral health interventions on cardiovascular disease risk in adults at increased risk. These findings are relevant for adults with known hypertension or elevated blood pressure, with dyslipidemia, or with mixed or multiple risk factors. Therefore, the USPSTF recommends behavioral counseling interventions to promote a healthy diet and physical activity for adults with cardiovascular disease risk factors (B recommendation).

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“A healthy diet and physical activity are the foundations of a plan to help people at risk for cardiovascular disease stay healthy,” USPSTF member John Epling, MD, said in a statement.


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Draft Evidence Review

Draft Recommendation Statement

Comment on Recommendation Statement