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What Does CHADS Score Mean?

Reviewed on 6/11/2020

What Is a CHADS Score?

A CHADS or CHADS2 score is a tool doctors use to determine treatment for atrial-fibrillation patients in danger of stroke.
A CHADS or CHADS2 score is a tool doctors use to determine treatment for atrial-fibrillation patients in danger of stroke.

The CHADS scoring system is used by healthcare professionals to calculate a patient’s risk of having a stroke secondary to atrial fibrillation (AFib). To calculate their CHADS score, patients are assigned points based on their risk factors for stroke. The decision to use oral anticoagulant treatment to prevent stroke in patients with AFib is based on the CHADS score. 

What Does CHADS2 Score Stand For?

CHADS stands for the factors used in the scoring system: 

These factors are assigned a point score. If the patient has a certain stroke risk factor, they get a point on the CHADS scale:

Score CHADS2 Risk Criteria
1 point Congestive heart failure
1 point Hypertension
1 point Age 75 years or older
1 point Diabetes mellitus
2 point Stroke/transient ischemic attack

CHADS2 vs. CHA2DS2-VASc

The original CHADS scoring system study came out in 2001 and has since been further refined into the CHA2DS2-VASc, which adds evidence of vascular disease and the sex of the patient to the original CHADS scoring system.

Score CHA2DS2-VASc Risk Criteria
1 point Congestive heart failure
1 point Hypertension
2 points Age 75 years or older
1 point Diabetes mellitus
2 points Stroke/Transient Ischemic Attack/Thromboembolic event
1 point Vascular disease (prior heart attack, peripheral artery disease, or aortic plaque)
1 point Age 65 to 74 years
1 point Sex category (e.g. female)

Based on the CHA2DS2-VASc scoring, men who score at least one point and women who score at least 2 points should be started on oral anticoagulants to reduce risk of stroke.

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Reviewed on 6/11/2020
References
Medscape Medical Reference
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