Welcome to the ASCEND Trial Website
Recruitment is now Complete - 15,480 participants randomised. Follow-up to continue until 2017.
Diabetes is common, and increases the risks of suffering heart attacks or strokes. Aspirin is known to reduce the risk of these complications in people with circulatory problems, whether or not they have diabetes. However, there is no evidence that aspirin is beneficial in individuals with diabetes who do not have vascular disease, and few use it routinely.
The ASCEND randomised trial should provide the first reliable evidence about the effects of aspirin and of omega-3 fatty acids in diabetes. ASCEND has recruited 15,000 people with diabetes (either type 1 or type 2) who were not known to have vascular disease. ASCEND volunteers are randomly allocated to take either 100mg aspirin daily or placebo (dummy) and 1 gram capsules containing naturally occurring omega-3 fatty acids ("fish-oils") or placebo capsules containing olive oil. If favourable results emerge, this could lead to the widespread use of these treatments in diabetes, and avoidance of many thousands of heart attacks and strokes.
Funding for the study is being provided by the British Heart Foundation, packaged aspirin and matching placebo is being provided by Bayer AG and packaged omega-3 fatty acid supplements and matching placebo capsules by Abbott Products Operations AG (formerly Solvay Pharmaceuticals). The trial is coordinated by the University of Oxford Clinical Trial Service Unit and started during 2004, and is scheduled to continue until 2017.