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Behavioral Counseling Interventions to Promote a Healthy Diet and Physical Activity for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Adults With Cardiovascular Risk Factors

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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of death in the US. Known modifiable risk factors for CVD include smoking, overweight and obesity, diabetes, elevated blood pressure or hypertension, dyslipidemia, lack of physical activity, and unhealthy diet. Adults who adhere to national guidelines for a healthy diet and physical activity have lower cardiovascular morbidity and mortality than those who do not. All persons, regardless of their CVD risk status, benefit from healthy eating behaviors and appropriate physical activity.


To update its 2014 recommendation, the USPSTF commissioned a review of the evidence on behavioral counseling to promote a healthy diet and physical activity for CVD prevention in adults with cardiovascular risk factors.


This recommendation statement applies to adults 18 years or older with known hypertension or elevated blood pressure, those with dyslipidemia, or those who have mixed or multiple risk factors such as metabolic syndrome or an estimated 10-year CVD risk of 7.5% or greater. Adults with other known modifiable cardiovascular risk factors such as abnormal blood glucose levels, obesity, and smoking are not included in this recommendation.

Evidence assessment

The USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that behavioral counseling interventions have a moderate net benefit on CVD risk in adults at increased risk for CVD.


The USPSTF recommends offering or referring adults with CVD risk factors to behavioral counseling interventions to promote a healthy diet and physical activity. (B recommendation).

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