Metabolic Healthspan

What is Metabolic Healthspan and how is it calculated?

Alex avatar
Written by Alex
Updated over a week ago

In this article, you'll learn:

What is Metabolic Healthspan?

Metabolic Healthspan is the period of your life spent in good metabolic health. This metric reflects the impact of your diet, exercise, and lifestyle by showing you how many years you may extend your Metabolic Healthspan.

Metabolic Healthspan was co-developed with Veri’s advisors of researchers, endocrinologists, and cardiologists from universities like Stanford and Harvard and institutions like the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Metabolic Healthspan integrates 5 evidence-based metrics to give insight into the state of your metabolic health and how you can improve. The metrics are average glucose, morning fasting glucose, glucose variability, glucose oscillation, and body mass index.

Here are a few definitions before we dive in:

Healthspan is the period of life spent in good health, free from the chronic diseases and disabilities of aging. While two people may have the same lifespan, they can have vastly different states of metabolic health, resulting in different healthspans.

Metabolic Healthspan is the period of your life spent in good metabolic health. Our metric reflects the impact of your food, exercise, and lifestyle by showing how many years you may extend your metabolic healthspan.

Metabolic health is defined by glycemic control and body weight which both are associated with healthspan. Insulin resistance (poor glycemic control) and obesity (abnormally high weight) are predictors of major age-related diseases, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.

How do I see my Metabolic Healthspan?

To find your Metabolic Healthspan, do the following:

  1. Tap the menu icon in the top left corner

  2. Tap Health Trends

  3. Select Metabolic Healthspan

  4. Tap the 6-month and Year toggles to see your trends over time.

  5. Scroll down to see each contributor or Factors. Tap the contributor to learn more and see your trends over time.

How is it calculated?

Metabolic Healthspan integrates 5 key science-based metrics that capture glycemic control (insulin resistance) and body weight to give you a better indicator of your health. You can tap into each Factor to learn more about each measure and range.

The 5 contributors below are weighted to show how your Metabolic Healthspan may be extended.

1. Average Glucose - 25%

Average glucose represents the mean glucose level for a given day (24h) and is intended to give you an overall sense of your daily glucose level. Studies have shown that a larger percentage of the population unknowingly has glucose levels above the ideal range, often in the prediabetes or diabetes range [1, 2].

2. Morning Fasting Glucose - 25%

Morning fasting glucose is a robust indicator of insulin sensitivity or resistance. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) uses morning fasting glucose levels to determine whether an individual may have signs of early insulin resistance (impaired glucose tolerance) or diabetes. A morning fasting glucose level of > 99 mg/dL is one of the diagnostic criteria for pre-diabetes (or early insulin resistance) based on ADA guidelines [3]. Studies have demonstrated that your fasting glucose level is associated with a higher rate of mortality, diabetes, heart and vascular diseases, and impaired brain health [4, 5, 6].

3. Glucose Variability - 25%

Glucose variability, as measured statistically by standard deviation (SD), refers to how much your glucose varies within a given day. Generally, a lower variation of glucose levels throughout the day, reflecting more stable glucose levels, is better for overall health [7, 8]. A high variation, reflecting more prominent rises and falls in your glucose throughout the day, may be detrimental to your health.

Tip: Tap the info button at the top right of each screen to learn more about the importance of and research behind each measure.

4. Glucose Oscillation - 12.5%

The mean amplitude of glycemic excursion (MAGE) measures how intense your glucose spikes and dips are in a day. It is defined as the average of readings that exceed one standard deviation of the daily mean.

MAGE is commonly used to represent glucose fluctuation or oscillation, which contributes to oxidative stress in the body. A higher MAGE value indicates a higher fluctuation of glucose throughout the day or less stable glucose levels, which may be detrimental to your health. A lower MAGE value signifies a lower glucose fluctuation throughout the day or a more stable glucose, which may support your health. People with obesity have a higher MAGE than those of normal weight [9].

Studies have shown that a higher MAGE value is associated with an increased risk of death (mortality), cardiovascular events (heart attacks), diabetes, inflammation in the body, and impaired blood vessel (endothelial) function [9, 10, 11].

5. BMI - 12.5%

Body mass index (BMI) is a universally used measure of body weight relative to height. It is intended to reflect the overall relative amount of body fat that a person has. BMI is calculated as a ratio of weight to height. A higher BMI ratio is generally more indicative of a higher amount of body fat. A lower BMI ratio is generally more indicative of a lower amount of body fat.

Studies have shown that an elevated BMI above the healthy weight range is associated with worse health outcomes, including higher rates of death (mortality), diabetes, heart disease, and cancer [12, 13, 14]. Being underweight is also associated with worse health outcomes [14].

Note for our health team: While we recognize that BMI is not a perfect measure due to variations across body types, gender, and ethnicity, it is our closest approximation to adiposity (body fat) until we can integrate other metrics into Veri such as DEXA scans, caliper tests, and waist circumference.

References

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