Adults Eligible for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Counseling and Participation in Aerobic Physical Activity - United States, 2013

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015 Sep 25;64(37):1047-51. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6437a4.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States, and physical inactivity is a major risk factor (1). Health care professionals have a role in counseling patients about physical activity for CVD prevention. In August 2014, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended that adults who are overweight or obese and have additional CVD risk factors be offered or referred to intensive behavioral counseling interventions to promote a healthful diet and physical activity for CVD prevention. Although the USPSTF recommendation does not specify an amount of physical activity, the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans state that for substantial health benefits adults should achieve ≥150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or ≥75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. To assess the proportion of adults eligible for intensive behavioral counseling and not meeting the aerobic physical activity guideline, CDC analyzed data from the 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). This analysis indicated that 36.8% of adults were eligible for intensive behavioral counseling for CVD prevention. Among U.S. states and the District of Columbia (DC), the prevalence of eligible adults ranged from 29.0% to 44.6%. Nationwide, 19.9% of all adults were eligible and did not meet the aerobic physical activity guideline. These data can inform the planning and implementation of health care interventions for CVD prevention that are based on physical activity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Counseling*
  • Eligibility Determination / statistics & numerical data*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence / statistics & numerical data
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • United States
  • Young Adult