16 – Health Scores

Health Scores are the results an individual gets for participating in a self-administered health evaluation survey.

This way of evaluating one’s place in terms of health is valuable but has its limitations.

First there are differences in how each of us judge our own state of being health wise.  It is possible that a large amount of the perception we have about our health comes from culturally defined values about what is healthy and what isn’t.  It is also possible that we define our health based primarily upon perceptions of our health and well being with limited knowledge of anything other than the basic in the body’s state.  We may know little about our blood lipids and liver enzymes, more about the healthiness of our dietary practices, limited amounts about the family genetic history, moderate amounts about the health of our sibs, parents and grandparents, but next to nothing about the health of the building, place or city in which we live.

The measure of long term health requires more than just information about age, gender,ethnicity, job, income status, diet and drinking habits, recreational patterns, ways to manage domestic and work stress.  The readings of results for our last blood pressure, pulse, BMI, last lipid, blood sugar, LFT, ppd as a smoker may add something to this insight, but still not be able to predict our true health related future.

In addition, by knowing how healthy we are, we don’t really know how unhealthy we are.  The health score of some, if it is a good health score, should be reversible and useful for evaluation our bad or poor health related practices and state of being.  In a self-examination focused on health scores, it was found that the equation resulted in an 85 percentile for health, with 100% being the best.  Did that man the person was 15% unhealthy?  A review of responses to questions revealed one response of a blood glucose level of more than 400, extremely unhealthy, enough to require an intervention.  But the health quiz said that person was 85% healthy.  The blood glucose said he/she needed urgent care.

Health scores have to be interchangeable with unhealthy scoring outcomes.  Such was not the case with this particular equation being used.

There are a variety of ways health scores are judged and scored, and those scores put to use in evaluating overall health results.

A series of 15 maps were developed for demonstrating how NPHG can be used to display the results of various health quantifying metrics.