Patient Care

CHA2DS2-Vasc Score Modestly Predicts Stroke, Thromboembolism, Death


Clinical question: For patients with heart failure (HF), with and without concurrent Afib (AF), does the CHA2DS2-VASc score predict ischemic stroke, thromboembolism, and death?

Background: Factors in the CHA2DS2-VASc score predict increased risk of stroke, thromboembolism, and death, regardless of whether AF is present. It is unknown if this score can identify subgroups of patients with HF, with and without AF, at particularly high or low risk of these events.

Study design: Prospective, cohort study.

Setting: Three Danish registries, 2000-2012.

Synopsis: Among 42,987 patients 50 years and older with incident HF not on anticoagulation, the absolute risk of stroke among patients without AF was 1.5% per year or higher with a CHA2DS2-VASc score of two or higher. The absolute risk of stroke was 4% or higher at five years. Risks were higher in the 21.9% of patients with AF. The CHA2DS2-VASc score modestly predicted endpoints and had an approximately 90% negative predictive value for stroke, thromboembolism, and death at one-year follow-up, regardless of whether or not AF was present.

In this large study, HF patients in a non-diverse population were studied, and some patients may have had undiagnosed AF. Functional status and ejection fraction in patients with HF could not be categorized; however, reported five-year results may be generalizable to patients with chronic HF. Select patients with HF without AF, who have two or more factors of the score besides HF, might benefit from anticoagulation.

Bottom line: The CHA2DS2-VASc score modestly predicts stroke, thromboembolism, and death among patients with HF, but further studies are needed to determine its clinical usefulness.

Citation: Melgaard L, Gorst-Rasmussen A, Lane DA, Rasmussen LH, Larsen TB, Lip GY. Assessment of the CHA2DS2-VASc Score in predicting ischemic stroke, thromboembolism, and death in patients with heart failure with and without atrial fibrillation. JAMA. 2015;314(10):1030-1038.

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