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  • 1 February 2019 to 31 March 2019
  • Awards: Infrastructure Awards

A Study of Cardiovascular Events iN Diabetes (ASCEND) was a randomized trial of aspirin 100mg daily versus placebo, and separately of 1g omega-3 fatty acid supplementation daily versus placebo, for the primary prevention of serious cardiovascular events in 15,480 people with diabetes mellitus. After 7.5 years of follow-up, allocation to aspirin resulted in a 12% reduction in the number of serious vascular events, but this benefit was offset by a higher risk of major bleeding. Meanwhile no significant risks or benefits were found in those allocated active omega-3 fatty acids. ASCEND has generated a number of sub-studies which will produce randomized evidence regarding the effects of the study treatments elsewhere in the body. ASCEND-Eye is evaluating their effects on the most common causes of registerable blindness among working-age and elderly adults in the UK: diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.

Funding from the Oxford BHF CRE will facilitate linkage to the NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme data; analyses of which may alter the balance of risks and benefits of giving aspirin and omega-3 fatty acids to individuals with diabetes in a primary prevention setting.