June 8, 2020
NCHR’s Comments on USPSTF’s Draft Research Plan for Behavioral Counseling Interventions to Promote a Healthy Diet and Physical Activity for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Adults with Cardiovascular Risk Factors
We are writing to express our views on the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) draft research plan regarding behavioral counseling interventions to promote a healthy diet and physical activity for cardiovascular disease prevention in adults with cardiovascular risk factors.
The National Center for Health Research is a nonprofit think tank that conducts, analyzes, and scrutinizes research on a range of health issues, with particular focus on which prevention strategies and treatments are most effective for which patients and consumers. We do not accept funding from companies that make products that are the subject of our work, so we have no conflicts of interest.
We support the US Preventive Services Task Force’s efforts to update recommendations based on new scientific evidence. The evidence shows that people with risk factors for cardiovascular events benefit from behavioral counseling interventions to promote a healthy diet and physical activity. We also support USPSTF’s decision that this new recommendation no longer addresses only overweight and obese patients with CVD risk factors, but instead focuses on all patients with known CVD risk factors (including hypertension, dyslipidemia, and metabolic syndrome). We also support USPSTF’s decision to separately address recommendations for adults with impaired glucose tolerance or type 2 diabetes mellitus.
These interventions can reduce risks for cardiovascular events. However, such interventions can be of limited value due to patients who face barriers to obtaining healthy food or increasing their physical activity, as well as those who are unable to maintain behavioral changes. Given the known barriers to behavior changes, we urge the USPSTF to provide information about resources for interventions that take into account social determinants of health.
National Center for Health Research can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (202) 223-4000.