Ischemic stroke risk estimation in patients without oral anticoagulation : an observational cohort study based on secondary data from Germany

  • Background: Oral anticoagulants can cause potentially serious adverse events. Therefore, before prescribing oral anticoagulants for ischemic stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), stroke risk assessment is required to identify patients that are likely to benefit from treatment. Current guidelines recommend the CHA2DS2-VASc-score for stroke risk assessment. The CHA2DS2-VASc-score is based on observational studies from different treatment settings and countries. As ischemic stroke risk differs by setting and region, the aim of this study is to estimate ischemic stroke risk (stratified by the CHA2DS2-VASc-score) for a broadly representative population with AF from southern Germany and compare them to results from previous studies. Methods: The study design is a retrospective cohort study on patients with atrial fibrillation based on secondary data. We calculated CHA2DS2-VASc-score based on patient’s diagnoses recorded in the year 2014 and assessed outcomes in 2015–2016. The primary outcome is hospitalization for ischemic stroke. The secondary outome is hospitalizations for any thromboembolic event, including ischemic stroke, transient ischemic attack, peripheral arterial embolism, pulmonary embolism, and mesenterial embolism. We estimated the incidence rates of the outcomes (and corresponding 95%-confidence intervals) stratified by CHA2DS2-VASc-score. Results: The primary endpoint occurred in 961 of the 30,299 patients constituting the study population, resulting in a total incidence rate of 2.2 per 100 person-years. The secondary endpoint occurred in 1553 patients (3.6 per 100 person-years). Ischemic stroke rates stratified by the CHA2DS2-VASc-score tended to be lower than those reported previously. Thromboembolic event rates stratified tended to be similar to those reported previously. Conclusions: Our results show that the performance of the CHA2DS2-VASc-score differs in the German population, as compared to internationally published data, with an overall trend towards lower risk of ischemic stroke in uncoagulated patients with AF. These results should not be practice changing, but they emphasize that stroke risk estimation in patients with atrial fibrillation should be further refined.

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Author:Felix Sebastin Wicke, Martin Alexander Schaller, Kateryna Karymova, Martin Beyer, Beate Müller
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):BMC cardiovascular disorders
Publisher:BioMed Central
Place of publication:London
Contributor(s):Janet Harvey
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2019
Year of first Publication:2019
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/04/29
Tag:Anticoagulation; Atrial fibrillation; CHA2DS2-VASc-score; Cardiovascular epidemiology; Incidence rate; Ischemia; Risk assessment; Stroke
Issue:1, Art. 94
Page Number:8
First Page:1
Last Page:8
Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0