What’s Nightingale Health Index and why you should know your NHI score

If you need to remember only one thing about your health, then it needs to mean something important. That’s the idea behind the Nightingale Health Index (NHI) — it's the one number that captures the most relevant health data to reflect the impact of your lifestyle on your body and shows your odds of living a healthy life. Here’s why you should know your NHI score.

Won’t it be great if you could look at your health results as you look at, say, exam results? A grade or a single score to summarise you how you’re doing in that subject, here it being your health. That’s the core idea behind the Nightingale Health Index — it’s a unique metric that summarises your key health parameters into one score. Think of it as your “long-term health” score that tells you how your everyday lifestyle is affecting your body and how you could improve your future health. The higher your NHI, the better are your odds of living a healthy life.

Single metric to follow, predict and improve your health

Although the index is based on all 20+ blood results included in the My Nightingale test, it isn’t just a plain summary of it. The index compares your health numbers with a huge database of results from people of different backgrounds — ages, sex, body metrics, medical history, diet and exercise habits — to give you the most objective summary of your health status. So, rather than getting a generic health average, for the first time you get a score that’s adjusted to your age and sex and can be compared with anyone's score (even your mom's). By measuring your NHI (Nightingale Health Index) on a regular basis you can:

  • See the impact of your lifestyle on your health and track progress over time. The index and its underlying factors are closely tied to your lifestyle. What you eat and drink, how much you exercise, how well you sleep, your stress levels — everything contributes to the underlying factors of the index. So, you can see the exact impact of your lifestyle on your body and how your health improves with lifestyle changes.
  • Predict future health risks for up to 10 years in advance. Apart from your lifestyle, the index is also an incredibly strong indicator of your future health prospects. The index tracks health markers related to two major chronic illnesses: type 2 diabetes and heart disease; and shows an estimated risk of developing these two illnesses up to 10 years in advance. When looking at it statistically, it has a true epidemiological interpretation. Meaning, a higher health index means a lower risk of heart diseases or type two diabetes and vice versa. So, for instance, being in the 'excellent' category decreases the risk of developing diabetes by 50x to those people who are in the ‘needs attention’ category.
  • Improve your health by taking corrective steps. The My Nightingale app comes with a “how to improve” section under each blood result that uses medical research findings and breaks them down into easy-to-follow everyday health tips — such as specific diet-related advice, exercise, sleep, stress and such — that can help you improve your NHI within a few weeks.

Contributors to Nightingale Health Index

Your NHI is influenced by six key health indicators — cholesterol balance, blood sugar, fatty acid balance, diabetes resistance, inflammation and heart age — and with over 20 underlying biomarker results (such as omega-3, omega-6, saturated fatty acids, ApoB, ApoA1, triglycerides, GlycA and BCAAs) that represent different aspects of your health. The higher your health indicator numbers, the better your NHI score.

  • Cholesterol Balance is a measure of “good” versus “bad” cholesterol in your blood and related to your heart health.
  • Blood sugar is simply the level of glucose (sugar) in your bloodstream and associated with long-term diabetes risk.
  • Inflammation, or, chronic low-grade inflammation is a steady, low-level inflammation throughout the body, which you cannot see, doesn’t heal and an indication health risk — related to excess fat mass (especially in the abdominal region), plays a central role in the development of many chronic diseases including diabetes, heart illnesses, stroke, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer and more. Read more about Inflammation here.
  • Fatty acid balance is a measure of “good” versus “bad” fats in your blood. It is associated with a healthy diet.
  • Diabetes resistance is a check to see how well-guarded your body is against developing this chronic disease.
    Type 2 diabetes risk: To further explore how well your body is responding to insulin, this indicator also shows your estimated risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years.
  • Heart age reflects your cardiovascular health compared to your actual age.
    Heart disease risk: To further understand your heart’s health, this indicator also shows your estimated risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the next 10 years as well.

Interpreting your Nightingale Health Index

Although the algorithms behind calculating your index might be complex, understanding and improving your NHI is quite simple. Your Nightingale Health Index score maxes at 100.

With regular follow-ups, you can track progress made over time and stay healthy.