Summaries for Patients |

Counseling to Promote Healthy Lifestyle and Prevent Cardiovascular Disease: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation FREE

[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

The full report is titled “Behavioral Counseling Interventions to Promote a Healthful Diet and Physical Activity for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Adults: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement.” It is in the 4 September 2012 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 157, pages 367-372). The author is V.A. Moyer, on behalf of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Summaries for Patients are a service provided by Annals to help patients better understand the complicated and often mystifying language of modern medicine.

Summaries for Patients are presented for informational purposes only. These summaries are not a substitute for advice from your own medical provider. If you have questions about this material, or need medical advice about your own health or situation, please contact your physician. The summaries may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the American College of Physicians.

Ann Intern Med. 2012;157(5):I-28. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-157-5-201209040-00494
Text Size: A A A

Who developed these recommendations?

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is a group of health experts that reviews published research and makes recommendations about preventive health care.

What is the problem and what is known about it so far?

Cardiovascular disease (heart attack and stroke) is a leading cause of death in the United States. Adults who eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly are at lower risk for cardiovascular disease than those who do not. National guidelines recommend that adults eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood and eat less salt, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, added sugar, and refined grains. Recommendations advise people to exercise at a moderate level (for example, walking) for at least 30 minutes at least 5 days per week or at a vigorous level (for example, running) for at least 20 minutes at least 3 days per week. Most Americans unfortunately do not follow these recommendations. One way to encourage healthy diet and exercise is for doctors and nurses to talk with patients about these behaviors in routine health care. Together they can decide whether patients will benefit from a more intensive counseling program on diet and exercise done by health educators, counselors, dietitians, or others. The USPSTF considered the evidence showing that such programs improve these behaviors and health outcomes.

Why did the USPSTF develop these recommendations?

The USPSTF considered an extensive review of published literature when developing these recommendations. The review included studies that examined the benefits and harms of counseling about healthy diet and exercise during primary care visits. The review considered studies of counseling in people without known high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol problems, or cardiovascular disease.

What did the authors find?

There is a strong relationship among healthy diet, exercise, and heart disease. However, available studies suggest that the benefit of intensive counseling about these behaviors is small for adults without known high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol problems, or heart disease. The USPSTF found that counseling has little to no potential harm. However, the time and resources devoted to counseling could take time away from other, more effective preventive care.

What does the USPSTF suggest that patients and doctors do?

The USPSTF does not recommend incorporating counseling about healthy diet and physical activity into routine primary care for all adults in the general population without known diabetes, high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels, or heart disease. Health care providers may choose counseling about healthy diet and physical activity to prevent cardiovascular disease for some patients. Things to consider when deciding whether to provide such counseling include the patient's other risk factors for heart disease, readiness for change, social supports and community resources to support change, and other health problems.

What are the cautions related to these recommendations?

These recommendations do not mean that the benefits of healthy diet and exercise are uncertain: These lifestyle habits improve health. Patients and health care providers will need to determine whether more intensive counseling about diet and exercise will be beneficial for patients who have less risk for heart disease.

This article was published at www.annals.org on 26 June 2012.





Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Submit a Comment/Letter
Submit a Comment/Letter

Summary for Patients

Clinical Slide Sets

Terms of Use

The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.


Want to Subscribe?

Learn more about subscription options

Related Articles
Topic Collections
PubMed Articles
Forgot your password?
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.