VA Loma Linda Healthcare System
A powerful new tool can help Veterans better understand their health habits and overall health. It can also provide advice on ways to improve their well-being. It’s called the “HealtheLiving Assessment” or “HLA” and it’s now available at the My HealtheVet Web site (https://www.myhealth.va.gov).
The HLA asks each user a set of personalized, confidential questions. The questions cover things like diet, exercise, weight, family medical history, and alcohol and tobacco use. The answers are used to calculate the Veteran’s “health age” and risk for disease. It takes about 20 minutes to complete and is available online 24/7. All registered My HealtheVet users can take the HLA, even Veterans’ family members and caregivers.
The HLA is interactive—users can select health recommendations, then re-calculate their health age and disease risk. This can help them understand which changes can most benefit their health. For example, users who select “stop smoking” will see a positive change in their health age and a lower risk for heart disease and some cancers.
Veterans can save or print their HLA reports to share with their health care team. This can help them better partner, communicate, and decide about their health goals. The reports can also help them see how their provider's recommendations can improve their health and life.
Research has shown that when people see the impact of their health choices, they want to improve their health behavior. And sometimes they just need is to see improvement in one area to start making bigger health and behavior changes. VA believes that the HLA can help Veterans make positive health changes to live a healthier life.