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Health care providers should treat unhealthy behaviors as aggressively as they treat hypertension, high cholesterol, and other heart disease risk factors, according to an American Heart Association policy statement published in the journal Circulation.
Doctors should create "interprofessional practices" to connect patients with behavior-change specialists.
They must implement five As when caring for patients:
- Assess a patient’s risk behaviors for heart disease
- Advise change, such as weight loss or exercise
- Agree on an action plan
- Assist with treatment
- Arrange for follow-up care.