The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has released a draft recommendation that adults with cardiovascular disease be offered behavioral counseling that promotes a healthy diet and physical activity.

The recommendation, based on research from the Kaiser Permanente Evidence-based Practice Center, applies to adults age 18 years or older with the following:

  • known hypertension or elevated blood pressure
  • dyslipidemia (blood lipid levels that are too high or low)
  • mixed or multiple risk factors such as metabolic syndrome
  • an estimated 10-year cardiovascular risk of 7.5% or greater

Adults with risk factors such as abnormal blood glucose levels, obesity, and smoking are exempt from the recommendation. 

The researchers reviewed 94 randomized trials with more than 52,000 participants. They found that behavioral counseling including diet and physical activity interventions was tied to significantly reduced risk for cardiovascular events. The intervention was also linked to lowered risk for myocardial infarction and stroke. Outcomes included improvements in blood pressure; lipids; weight; blood glucose; and dietary intake of saturated fat, fruits and vegetables, fiber, and sodium, reported Elizabeth A. O’Connor, Ph.D. and colleagues. 

The draft guidance can be found on the USPSTF website, and is available for public comments until June 08, 2020.