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Commentary |

Recalibration of the HAS-BLED Score: Should Hemorrhagic Stroke Account for One or Two Points?

Peter Brønnum Nielsen, MSc, PhD; Torben Bjerregaard Larsen, MD, PhD; Gregory Y.H. Lip, MD
Author and Funding Information

FUNDING/SUPPORT: The Obel Family Foundation partly funded this research with an unrestricted grant.

CORRESPONDENCE TO: Gregory Y. H. Lip, MD, University of Birmingham Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences, City Hospital, Dudley Rd, Birmingham, B18 7QH, England


Copyright 2016, American College of Chest Physicians. All Rights Reserved.


Chest. 2016;149(2):311-314. doi:10.1378/chest.15-1509
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After a hemorrhagic stroke, it is uncertain whether this event scores one point (either for stroke or bleeding) or two points (one point each for stroke and bleeding) on the bleeding risk score termed HAS-BLED (hypertension, abnormal renal/liver function [one or two points], stroke, bleeding history or predisposition, labile international normalized ratio [INR], elderly [> 65 years], drugs/alcohol concomitantly [one or two points]). We investigated the value of a recalibration of the HAS-BLED score to account for two points from a hemorrhagic stroke. Data were analyzed from the Danish nationwide cohort of patients with incident atrial fibrillation (AF) from January 1999 to December 2013. The primary outcome in this observational study was major bleeding. The original and the recalibrated HAS-BLED scores were assessed, and the event rates of major bleeding were calculated. The predictive accuracy of major bleeding was compared by using C-statistics, the net reclassification index (NRI), and integrated discrimination improvement (IDI). An event rate for major bleeding of 4.3 per 100 person-years was recorded in the 210,299 patients with AF. The C-statistics for the two scores were modest: 0.613 (95% CI, 0.607-0.619) for the original score and 0.616 (95% CI, 0.610-0.622) for the recalibrated score. The NRI was 10.0% (95% CI, 7.6-12.4). The relative IDI was 23.6% (95% CI, 15.7-31.5), reflecting that the recalibrated HAS-BLED score more accurately predicted bleeding events. Recalibration of the “S” component in the HAS-BLED score (counting two points for a hemorrhagic stroke) resulted in an increase in the C-statistics, NRI, and IDI. This approach could potentially aid physicians in more accurate assessments of bleeding risk in patients with AF.


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