University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications


A comparison of the CHARGE-AF and the CHA2DS2-VASc risk scores for prediction of atrial fibrillation in the Framingham Heart Study

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Cardiology | Cardiovascular Diseases | Clinical Epidemiology | Epidemiology


BACKGROUND: Atrial fibrillation (AF) affects more than 33 million individuals worldwide and increases risks of stroke, heart failure, and death. The CHARGE-AF risk score was developed to predict incident AF in three American cohorts and it was validated in two European cohorts. The CHA2DS2-VASc risk score was derived to predict risk of stroke, peripheral embolism, and pulmonary embolism in individuals with AF, but it has been increasingly used for AF risk prediction. We compared CHARGE-AF risk score versus CHA2DS2-VASc risk score for incident AF risk in a community-based cohort.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We studied Framingham Heart Study participants aged 46 to 94 years without prevalent AF and with complete covariates. We predicted AF risk using Fine-Gray proportional sub-distribution hazards regression. We used the Wald chi(2) statistic for model fit, C-statistic for discrimination, and Hosmer-Lemeshow (HL) chi(2) statistic for calibration. We included 9722 observations (mean age 63.9 +/- 10.6 years, 56% women) from 4548 unique individuals: 752 (16.5%) developed incident AF and 793 (17.4%) died. The mean CHARGE-AF score was 12.0 +/- 1.2 and the sub-distribution hazard ratio (sHR) for AF per unit increment was 2.15 (95% CI, 99-131%; P < .0001). The mean CHA2DS2-VASc score was 2.0 +/- 1.5 and the sHR for AF per unit increment was 1.43 (95% CI, 37%-51%; P < .0001). The CHARGE-AF model had better fit than CHA2DS2-VASc (Wald chi(2) = 403 vs 209, both with 1 df), improved discrimination (C-statistic = 0.75, 95% CI, 0.73-0.76 vs C-statistic = 0.71, 95% CI, 0.69-0.73), and better calibration (HL chi(2) = 5.6, P = .69 vs HL chi(2) = 28.5, P < .0001).

CONCLUSION: The CHARGE-AF risk score performed better than the CHA2DS2-VASc risk score at predicting AF in a community-based cohort.

DOI of Published Version



Am Heart J. 2016 Aug;178:45-54. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2016.05.004. Epub 2016 May 17. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American heart journal

PubMed ID