It is amazing the power of numbers to predict, and our inability to accurately judge risk. The CHADS Score predicts the risk of stroke on a yearly basis, depending on the number of risk factors you have. Most people understand that risk calcultion, but more worrisome is the likelihood of the event occuring given time. I have calculated 1 year risk, but then also placed the 5, 10, 15 and 20 year risk for stroke using the same estimated frequency. I think that many people would make different choices about anticoagulation if they recognized the cumulative risk.
|CHADS2 Score||Stroke Risk %||Year 1||Year 5||Year 10||Year 15||Year 20|
Another way of presenting that same data is, if you have two of the CHADS risk factors for stroke, you have a 18.5% risk for stroke in the next 5 years and a 33.5% risk in the next 10 years. I think that would help guide the decision to take Coumadin, which is the standard recommendation if you have a CHADS score of 2.