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Cardiovascular Disease: Behavioral Counseling Could Help Reduce Risk
- Updated: August 27, 2014
Excess weight has been proven to increase risk for disease to include diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. The current epidemic in the United States shows just how serious the problem of obesity is. Although there have been tremendous breakthroughs in helping people lose unhealthy weight, the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) believes more can be done.
Recently, this Task Force made the recommendation for behavioral counseling in adults with a higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease. The goal is to prevent or at minimum, drastically reduce the onset of heart attack or stroke. With their suggestion, obese adults, as well as people with a minimum of one additional risk factor for developing heart disease to include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smoking, to go through intervention in the form of counseling.
According to the latest statistics, there are now 600,000 people in the United States who die annually from cardiovascular disease. To reduce these numbers, lifestyle changes matter to include counseling coupled with following a well-balanced diet and getting at least 30 minutes of exercise daily.
Dr. Sue Curry, member of the USPSTF states that there is tremendous benefit for people with one risk of developing cardiovascular disease by following suggestions and advice offered by highly trained professionals to include nutritionists, dieticians, exercise experts, psychologists, psychotherapists, and health educators.
Curry goes on to say that following the suggestions made for intervention, people have the opportunity to achieve better health. This consists of reducing high levels of cholesterol and lowering blood pressure, which in turn decreases risk of heart attack and stroke. She also says that while the best interventions will vary from person to person, working with a reputable counselor who can help educate is best.
A trained counselor will work closely with patients in setting goals, but also provide much-needed tools as a means of promoting behaviors for achieving better health. A counselor would also monitor patients on a regular basis, and conduct follow-ups as part of the service.