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  • Writer's pictureOrthus Health

Know Your Number® – A Superior Disease Risk Prediction Tool

Know Your Number is proven, rooted in both science and practical use.

Orthus Health came together in June of 2017–three companies strategically merged, combining talents, expertise, and technology in wellness, disease risk prediction, analytics, and clinical oversight, to bring our clients even more effective data-driven performance-based services, metrics, and insights. Orthus Health was formed in 2017, but our story begins many years earlier.

In 1945, merely 11 weeks into his 4th term as president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt died of heart failure and stroke, after a prolonged illness of uncontrolled hypertension. Following Roosevelt’s death, President Truman signed the National Heart Act into law, granting funds for the 20-year Framingham Heart Study. The term “risk factor” originated from this infamous study, and prior to, physicians had little awareness of prevention. Too late for FDR, his risk factors remained undiagnosed and untreated.

Fast forward to 1983 and in rural China, the China-Cornell-Oxford study was born. Here, great emphasis was placed on balance and restraint and overindulgence frowned upon. In fact, children were taught to stop eating when they felt 70% full. Food was locally produced and distributed, and the diet was primarily plant based. The study uncovered 8,000 statistically significant associations between lifestyle, diet, and disease. The higher the diet in plant-based foods, the lower the risk of disease.

Both of these studies gave rise to “Synthesis Analysis”, a newer disease prediction model with the ability to gather data from multiple sources, instead of a single source, as is typical. Synthesis Analysis included new risk factors (previously unknown), such as family history, physical exercise, and body mass, among others. In later studies, this disease risk model was proven to outperform the original Framingham Risk Score model, offering an improved way of predicting disease.

From Synthesis Analysis, the outcomes-based Know Your Number® Health Risk Index emerged. Both the Synthesis Analysis model and Know Your Number are patented and now owned by Orthus Health.

The effectiveness of the Orthus Health disease risk prediction model is more important today than ever before. Heart disease is responsible for one in 3 deaths, diabetes plagues 30 million Americans, and increasing obesity plagues not only Americans, but now the Chinese and others worldwide. The impact on worker health, culture, and the ability for businesses to thrive is significant. Predicting the health risk of employee populations is critical to predicting future costs, to guide employers as to where to invest in wellness programs, and to document the effectiveness and results of these interventions.

Many years following Roosevelt’s death, his cardiologist remarked, “I have often pondered what turn the subsequent course of history might have taken if the modern methods for the control of hypertension had been available in 1945”.

It gives one pause to consider how prevention could have altered the course of U.S. history. And, how it can alter the course of our futures today.


Adding Multiple risk factors improves Framingham coronary heart disease risk scores, Vascular Health and Risk Management, 2014:10 557-562.

Building predicting models for coronary heart disease by synthesizing multiple longitudinal research findings (original scientific paper) Guizhous Hu and Martin M. Root, European Society of Cardiology, 2005

China-Cornell-Oxford Study, Cornell China Project: CornellCast

The Framingham Heart Study and the Epidemiology of Cardiovascular Diseases: A Historical Perspective,  Lancet. 2014 Mar 15; 383(9921): 999–1008.

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