Importance: Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes heart disease, myocardial infarction, and stroke, is the leading cause of death in the US. A large proportion of CVD cases can be prevented by addressing modifiable risk factors, including smoking, 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 rates of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality than those who do not; however, most US adults do not consume healthy diets or engage in physical activity at recommended levels.
Objective: To update its 2017 recommendation, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) commissioned a review of the evidence on the benefits and harms of behavioral counseling interventions to promote healthy behaviors in adults without CVD risk factors.
Population: Adults 18 years or older without known CVD risk factors, which include hypertension or elevated blood pressure, dyslipidemia, impaired fasting glucose or glucose tolerance, or mixed or multiple risk factors such as metabolic syndrome or an estimated 10-year CVD risk of 7.5% or greater.
Evidence assessment: The USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that behavioral counseling interventions have a small net benefit on CVD risk in adults without CVD risk factors.
Recommendation: The USPSTF recommends that clinicians individualize the decision to offer or refer adults without CVD risk factors to behavioral counseling interventions to promote a healthy diet and physical activity. (C recommendation).