USPSTF: Evaluates the benefits of diet and exercise counseling for adults without known risk factors for heart disease

USPSTF: Evaluates the benefits of diet and exercise counseling for adults without known risk factors for heart disease

MedicalResearch.com interview with:

Lori Pbert, Ph.D.  Professor, Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences Associate Chief of the Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine Founder and Director of the Center for Tobacco Treatment Research and Training University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School Dr.  Pbert joined the US Preventive Services Task Force in January 2019

Dr Pbert

Lori Pbert, Ph.D
Professor, Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences
Deputy Head of the Department of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine
Founder and Director of the Center for Tobacco Treatment Research and Training
University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School
dr Pbert joined the US Preventive Services Task Force in January 2019

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background to this study? What are the key insights?

answer: Heart attacks and strokes are the number one killers of adults in the United States. Based on the evidence we reviewed, the task force found that some people would benefit from counseling interventions to support their cardiovascular health, but the overall benefit is small. For this reason, we continue to recommend that healthcare professionals work with their patients who do not have risk factors for cardiovascular disease to decide whether counseling interventions on healthy eating and physical activity could help them prevent heart attacks and strokes. This is a C class recommendation.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

answer: Everyone can improve their overall health by eating a healthy diet and being physically active. However, this recommendation only applies to people who have no pre-existing risk factors, such as high blood pressure or unhealthy cholesterol levels. For this group, the decision to initiate healthy lifestyle counseling should be guided by both the physician’s professional judgment and the patient’s preferences. Overall, people who are interested in changing their diet and physical activity are most likely to benefit from counseling.

It’s also important to note that the task force has a separate recommendation for people with risk factors, stating that they should receive behavioral counseling that promotes a healthy diet and physical activity to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease .

MedicalResearch.com: As a result of this study, what recommendations do you have for future research?

answer: We call for more research into the barriers that prevent people of all ages and abilities from eating healthily and being physically active. This research should include those people most at risk from heart attacks and strokes to help narrow the disparities in these groups. For example, studies should examine how healthcare professionals and patients can discuss ways to overcome environmental, financial, societal, and other types of barriers to a healthy lifestyle.

The task force is also calling for more research into how clinicians can increase the chances that a patient referred for behavioral counseling will end up having an improved quality of life. These referral studies should be measured and reported consistently and should standardize the use of food intake surveys and physical activity tools.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add? Any Disclosures?

answer: We recognize that social determinants of health and systemic racism contribute to disparities in healthy eating and physical activity by affecting the availability and accessibility of healthy eating and physical activity opportunities. It is important for healthcare professionals to talk to their patients about how best to support them in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We are committed to improving health equity and reducing health inequalities across the country.

Citation:

Patnode CD, Redmond N, Iacocca MO, Henninger M. Behavioral counseling interventions to promote a healthy diet and physical activity for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in adults without known risk factors for cardiovascular disease: Updated evidence report and systematic review for the U.S. Prevention Services Task Force. JAMA. 2022;328(4):375-388. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.7408

US Task Force on Preventive Services. Behavioral counseling interventions to promote a healthy diet and physical activity for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in adults without risk factors for cardiovascular disease: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA. 2022;328(4):367-374. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.10951

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