By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS
About 20 percent of all U.S. adults don’t get enough physical activity and are eligible for behavior counseling to prevent heart disease and stroke, according to a report released Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In August 2014, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended intensive behavioral counseling to encourage physical activity and healthy eating for patients who were overweight or obese with other cardiovascular disease risk factors. This group sets science-based guidelines for general practitioners and other physicians.
The CDC used 2013 data to determine how many adults in the U.S. qualified for counseling under those guidelines, while at the same time failed to get the recommended amount of physical activity per week: at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity.
Without factoring in physical activity, nearly 37 percent of adults in the U.S. were eligible for the recommended counseling. At the state level, eligibility ranged from 29 percent in Utah to nearly 45 percent in Tennessee.
Age and race affected the percentage who qualified. Only 6.6 percent of people ages 18 to 24 were eligible for counseling compared to 56 percent of those 65 or older. At 43 percent, African-Americans were more likely to quality than whites, 38 percent, or Hispanics, 33 percent.
The agency said the USPSTF’s counseling recommendation could benefit a third of the U.S. population. The CDC suggested that careful monitoring will help determine how impactful the recommendation will be in preventing cardiovascular diseases and stroke.