Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Frontiers in Nutrition




Introduction: As a composite immunonutritional biomarker, the Hemoglobin, Albumin, Lymphocyte, Platelet (HALP) score has shown promise in assessing a patient's overall health status by integrating several routinely collected laboratory indicators. This biomarker has been examined in many different populations of patients and disease states (i.e., cancer), but an integrated, universal rubric using standardized thresholds has not thus far been developed. Pre-existing large population-based databases represent an ideal source to examine the distribution of HALP and the influence of diverse health statuses on this score.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 2017–2020, evaluating 8,245 participants across numerous demographic, socioeconomic, and health-related variables. Univariate and multivariate linear regression analyses assessed the associations between HALP scores and these factors.

Results: Our findings revealed significant associations between HALP scores and various demographic, socioeconomic, and health conditions. The median HALP score among the representative population was 49.0, with varying median scores across different groups and normal reference ranges for males and females. Multivariate regression analysis showed that anemia treatment, age over 65 years, weak/failing kidneys, and cancer were independent risk factors associated with lower HALP scores. Male participants demonstrated higher HALP scores than female participants, and age was inversely related to HALP. Moreover, HALP scores were negatively associated with the number of comorbidities.

Conclusion/discussion: This study set out to explore the HALP score from a population-based perspective, uncovering notable associations that offer vital insights into the score's clinical relevance and future applications. By determining a median HALP score of 49.0 and normal reference ranges within our diverse, representative sample, we establish a robust foundation for researchers to refine optimal HALP applications and thresholds. Considering the growing focus on personalized medicine, HALP holds promise as a prognostic tool, enabling clinicians to comprehend their patients' immunonutritional status better and deliver customized care.


© 2023 Antar, Farag, Xu, Drouaud, Gordon and Whalen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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