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Predicting stroke risk based on health behaviours: development of the Stroke Population Risk Tool (SPoRT)


Background — Health behaviours, important factors in cardiovascular disease, are increasingly a focus of prevention. We appraised whether stroke risk can be accurately assessed using self-reported information focused on health behaviours.

Methods — Behavioural, sociodemographic and other risk factors were assessed in a population-based survey of 82 259 Ontarians who were followed for a median of 8.6 years (688 000 person-years follow-up) starting in 2001. Predictive algorithms for 5-year incident stroke resulting in hospitalization were created and then validated in a similar 2007 survey of 28 605 respondents (median 4.2 years follow-up).

Results — We observed 3 236 incident stroke events (1 551 resulting in hospitalization; 1 685 in the community setting without hospital admission). The final algorithms were discriminating (C-stat: 0.85, men; 0.87, women) and well-calibrated (in 65 of 67 subgroups for men; 61 of 65 for women). An index was developed to summarize cumulative relative risk of incident stroke from health behaviours and stress. For men, each point on the index corresponded to a 12% relative risk increase (180% risk difference, lowest (0) to highest (9) scores). For women, each point corresponded to a 14% relative risk increase (340% difference, lowest (0) to highest (11) scores). Algorithms for secondary stroke outcomes (stroke resulting in death; classified as ischemic; excluding transient ischemic attack; and in the community setting) had similar health behaviour risk hazards.

Conclusion — Incident stroke can be accurately predicted using self-reported information focused on health behaviours. Risk assessment can be performed with population health surveys to support population health planning or outside of clinical settings to support patient-focused prevention.



Manuel DG, Tuna M, Perez R, Tanuseputro P, Hennessy D, Bennett C, Rosella L, Sanmartin C, van Walraven C, Tu JV. PLoS One. 2015; 10(12):e0143342.

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