When it comes to Atrial Fibrillation (AFIb) and the risk for stroke, one common term that often comes up is the CHADSVASC score. Because complications from a stroke presents such serious issues for patients suffering from AFib, it’s very important for cardiologists to be able to assess a patient’s potential risk for stroke. That’s where the CHADSVASC score comes in.

What Are the Factors?

The CHADSVASC score is an acronym of different factors on a 10-point rating scale that measures a patient’s risk for stroke. Each factor is assigned a point value, and the total number of points correlate to a risk percentage based on national averages. Below are the items that are scored:

  • Congestive Heart Failure (weak heart muscle) (1 Point)
  • High Blood Pressure (1 Point)
  • Age (Above 75) (2 Points)
  • Diabetes (1 Point)
  • Previous Stroke, TIA, or Clot (2 points)
  • Vascular Disease (CAD, PAD, Aortic plaque) (1 Point)
  • Age (Between 65-74) (1 Point)
  • Sex (Female: 1 Point, Male: 0 Points)

Constantly Improving

Because the aim of this scoring system is making predictions on future health problems more accurate, the pressure to make it better over time is always present. For example, giving two points to those above 75 was not always part of this current system, but because researchers and cardiologists want to better represent the risk, it was adjusted to reflect that. The same is true of a history of previous stroke.

Because the point values have been adjusted to weigh heavier in those two areas, this scoring system is also called CHA2DS2-VASc. As more information comes to light, this scale will likely also be adjusted to make it more accurate, but for now, it is helping to save lives and get patients the early care they need to live long and happy lives.

If you are concerned about your CHADSVASC score, or if your primary care physician recommends that you see a cardiologist, contact Dr. Dilip Mathew today. Dr. Mathew is an experienced electrophysiologist in Sarasota, Florida, and he specializes in ablation therapy for atrial fibrillation. Contact him today learn what steps you can take to having a healthier heart.