USPSTF: Counseling Recommended for Cardiovascular Risk

Overweight or obese adults with risk factors should be referred for intensive behavioral counseling.
Overweight or obese adults with risk factors should be referred for intensive behavioral counseling.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends offering or referring overweight and obese adults with cardiovascular disease risk factors to intensive behavioral counseling. These findings are presented in a final recommendation statement published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Michael L. LeFevre, M.D., M.S.P.H., from the USPSTF in Rockville, Md., and colleagues updated recommendations on dietary counseling for adults with cardiovascular disease risk factors. Data were reviewed from 74 trials relating to the benefits and harms of primary care-relevant counseling interventions for a healthful diet and physical activity.

Based on the current evidence, the researchers recommend offering or referring overweight or obese adults with additional cardiovascular disease risk factors to intensive behavioral counseling interventions (Grade B recommendation).

These interventions should promote a healthful diet and physical activity. These findings apply to adults aged 18 years or older in primary care settings who are overweight or obese and have additional cardiovascular disease risk factors, including hypertension, dyslipidemia, impaired fasting glucose, or metabolic syndrome.

"The most effective interventions vary, but typically involve a trained counselor who provides education, helps patients set goals, shares tools to help promote healthy behaviors, and regularly monitors and follows up with patients," Task Force member Su Curry, Ph.D., said in a statement.

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