Comparisons of CHADS2 and CHA2DS2-VASc scores for stroke risk stratification in atrial fibrillation: Which scoring system should be used for Asians?

Tze-Fan Chao, Chia-Jen Liu, Ta-Chuan Tuan, Su-Jung Chen, Kang-Ling Wang, Yenn-Jiang Lin, Shih-Lin Chang, Li-Wei Lo, Yu-Feng Hu, Tzeng-Ji Chen, Chern-En Chiang, Shih-Ann Chen
Heart Rhythm: the Official Journal of the Heart Rhythm Society 2016, 13 (1): 46-53

BACKGROUND: Both U.S. and European guidelines recommend use of the CHA2DS2-VASc rather than CHADS2 score for stroke risk stratification in atrial fibrillation (AF). However, the CHA2DS2-VASc score has not been proved to be better than CHADS2 score for Asians in a large-scale study.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to compare the accuracies of CHADS2 and CHA2DS2-VASc scores in predicting ischemic stroke in Chinese patients.

METHODS: This study used the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan. A total of 186,570 AF patients without antithrombotic therapies were selected as the study cohort. The clinical end-point was occurrence of ischemic stroke.

RESULTS: During follow-up of 3.4 ± 3.7 years, 23,723 patients (12.7%) experienced ischemic stroke. The CHA2DS2-VASc score performed better than CHADS2 score in predicting ischemic stroke assessed by c-indexes (0.698 vs 0.659, P <.0001). Among 25,286 patients with a CHADS2 score of 0, the CHA2DS2-VASc score ranged from 0 to 3, and the annual stroke rate ranged from 1.15% to 4.47%. Compared to patients with a CHA2DS2-VASc score of 0, the hazard ratio of ischemic stroke for patients with a CHA2DS2-VASc score of 3 was 3.998.

CONCLUSION: Patients with a CHADS2 score of 0 were not necessarily "low risk," and the annual stroke rate can be as high as 4.47% when patients were further stratified by the CHA2DS2-VASc score. In contrast, patients with a CHA2DS2-VASc score of 0 had a truly low risk of ischemic stroke, with an annual stroke rate around 1.15%. As with Caucasians, the CHA2DS2-VASc score should be used for stroke risk stratification in Asians.

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