Comparative validation of a novel risk score for predicting bleeding risk in anticoagulated patients with atrial fibrillation: the HAS-BLED (Hypertension, Abnormal Renal/Liver Function, Stroke, Bleeding History or Predisposition, Labile INR, Elderly, Drugs/Alcohol Concomitantly) score

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011 Jan 11;57(2):173-80. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2010.09.024. Epub 2010 Nov 24.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate predictors of bleeding in a cohort of anticoagulated patients and to evaluate the predictive value of several bleeding risk stratification schemas.

Background: The risk of bleeding during antithrombotic therapy in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) is not homogeneous, and several clinical risk factors have been incorporated into clinical bleeding risk stratification schemas. Current risk stratification schemas for bleeding during anticoagulation therapy have been based on complex scoring systems that are difficult to apply in clinical practice, and few have been derived and validated in AF cohorts.

Methods: We investigated predictors of bleeding in a cohort of 7,329 patients with AF participating in the SPORTIF (Stroke Prevention Using an ORal Thrombin Inhibitor in Atrial Fibrillation) III and V clinical trials and evaluated the predictive value of several risk stratification schemas by multivariate analysis. Patients were anticoagulated orally with either adjusted-dose warfarin (target international normalized ratio 2 to 3) or fixed-dose ximelagatran 36 mg twice daily. Major bleeding was centrally adjudicated, and concurrent aspirin therapy was allowed in patients with clinical atherosclerosis.

Results: By multivariate analyses, significant predictors of bleeding were concurrent aspirin use (hazard ratio [HR]: 2.10; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.59 to 2.77; p < 0.001); renal impairment (HR: 1.98; 95% CI: 1.42 to 2.76; p < 0.001); age 75 years or older (HR: 1.63; 95% CI: 1.23 to 2.17; p = 0.0008); diabetes (HR: 1.47; 95% CI: 1.10 to 1.97; p = 0.009), and heart failure or left ventricular dysfunction (HR: 1.32; 95% CI: 1.01 to 1.73; p = 0.041). Of the tested schemas, the new HAS-BLED (Hypertension, Abnormal Renal/Liver Function, Stroke, Bleeding History or Predisposition, Labile INR, Elderly, Drugs/Alcohol Concomitantly) score performed best, with a stepwise increase in rates of major bleeding with increasing HAS-BLED score (p(trend) <0.0001). The c statistic for bleeding varied between 0.50 and 0.67 in the overall entire cohort and 0.68 among patients naive to warfarin at baseline (n = 769).

Conclusions: This analysis identifies diabetes and heart failure or left ventricular dysfunction as potential risk factors for bleeding in AF beyond those previously recognized. Of the contemporary bleeding risk stratification schemas, the new HAS-BLED scheme offers useful predictive capacity for bleeding over previously published schemas and may be simpler to apply.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anticoagulants / adverse effects*
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Atrial Fibrillation / blood
  • Atrial Fibrillation / drug therapy*
  • Azetidines / adverse effects
  • Azetidines / therapeutic use
  • Benzylamines / adverse effects
  • Benzylamines / therapeutic use
  • Blood Coagulation / drug effects
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hemorrhage / blood
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced*
  • Hemorrhage / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / prevention & control
  • Warfarin / adverse effects
  • Warfarin / therapeutic use


  • Anticoagulants
  • Azetidines
  • Benzylamines
  • ximelagatran
  • Warfarin