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USPSTF Urges Behavioral Counseling to Reduce CVD Risk

Behavioral counseling interventions to promote healthy diet and physical activity have moderate net benefit

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends offering behavioral counseling interventions that promote healthy diet and physical activity to adults with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. These recommendations form the basis of a final recommendation statement, published in the Nov. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Elizabeth A. O’Connor, Ph.D., from the Kaiser Permanente Evidence-Based Practice Center in Portland, Oregon, and colleagues reviewed the benefits and harms of behavioral counseling interventions for adults with CVD risk factors. Data were included from 94 randomized clinical trials with 52,174 participants. The researchers found that interventions were associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular events (pooled relative risk, 0.80). Small, statistically significant reductions were seen in continuous measures of blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, fasting glucose levels, and adiposity at 12- to 24-month follow-up in association with behavioral counseling interventions.

Based on these findings, for adults (aged 18 years or older) at increased risk for CVD, the USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that behavioral counseling interventions to promote healthy diet and physical activity have a moderate net benefit on CVD risk (B recommendation).

“Behavioral counseling interventions aimed at improving diet and increasing physical activity can help prevent cardiovascular disease,” a USPSTF member said in a statement. “Because almost half of all adults in the U.S. have at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, it is good news that there are effective interventions available that clinicians can offer or refer patients to that reduce risk.”

Evidence Report

Final Recommendation Statement

Editorial 1

Editorial 2

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