Background and purpose: There is a variety of stroke risk factors, and engaging individuals in reducing their own personal risk is hugely relevant and could be an optimal dissemination strategy. The aim of the present study was to estimate the stroke risk for specific combinations of health- and lifestyle-related factors, and to develop a personalized stroke-risk assessment tool for health professionals and the general population (called the MyRisk_Stroke Calculator).
Methods: This population-based, longitudinal study followed a historical cohort formed from the 1992 or 1998 Santé Québec Health Surveys with information for linkage to health administrative databases. Stroke risk factors were ascertained at the time of survey, and stroke was determined from hospitalizations and death records. Cox proportional hazards models were used, modeling time to stroke in relationship to all variables.
Results: A total of 358 strokes occurred among a cohort of 17805 persons (men=8181) who were followed for approximately 11 years (i.e., -200000 person-years). The following regression parameters were used to produce 10-year stroke-risk estimates and assign risk points: for age (1 point/year after age 20 years), male sex (3 points), low education (4 points), renal disease (8 points), diabetes (7 points), congestive heart failure (5 points), peripheral arterial disease (2 points), high blood pressure (2 points), ischemic heart disease (1 point), smoking (8 points), >7 alcoholic drinks per week (3 points), low physical activity (2 points), and indicators of anger (4 points), depression (4 points), and anxiety (3 points). According to MyRisk_Stroke Calculator, a person with <50, 75, and 90 risk points has a 10-year stroke risk of <3%, 28%, and >75%, respectively.
Conclusions: The MyRisk_Stroke Calculator is a simple method of disseminating information to the general population about their stroke risk.
Keywords: dissemination; personalized stroke risk reduction; risk calculator; risk factors; stroke risk.