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Interactive Tool: What Is Your Risk for a Stroke if You Have Atrial Fibrillation? - What does this tool measure?

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Click here if you have atrial fibrillation, are age 55 or older, and want to find out your risk of stroke calculator.gif.

This interactive tool measures the chance of having a stroke in the next 5 years, for people who are age 55 or older and have atrial fibrillation. To calculate your score, the tool uses the information you enter.

This tool is based on information from the Framingham Heart Study. Since 1948 the Framingham Heart Study has studied the progression of heart disease and its risk factors. The data from this study has been used to make a risk assessment.

You should be aware, though, that the tool cannot be applied to everyone. This tool does not work for people who:

  • Have mitral valve stenosis or significant left ventricular dysfunction, which interferes with the heart's ability to pump well.
  • Are already taking an anticoagulant such as warfarin (Coumadin). Anticoagulants, also called blood thinners, prevent clots from forming and greatly lower the risk of stroke.
  • Have had a stroke or transient ischemic attack within 30 days of developing atrial fibrillation. If so, you are already at high risk, and this tool will not work for you.

The values you enter include the most important risk factors for stroke. They are:

  • Age and gender. The risk of stroke increases with age. The risk doubles every decade after age 55. Also, among those with atrial fibrillation, women have a higher risk of stroke than men.
  • Systolic blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure is the first number of your blood pressure reading. For example, if your reading is 120/80 (120 over 80), your systolic blood pressure is 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).
  • Diabetes. Having diabetes increases your risk of stroke. You can help lower this risk by working with your doctor to keep your blood sugar levels in a target range.
  • Prior stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). If you have had a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA) within 30 days of developing atrial fibrillation, you are already at high risk, and this tool will not work for you. But if you had a prior stroke or TIA before you developed atrial fibrillation, this tool will work for you.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 20, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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