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Welcome to the ASCEND study website. ASCEND is a clinical trial which aimed to find out whether aspirin and/or omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils) reduced the risk of heart attacks and strokes in people with diabetes who did not already have any existing problems with their heart or blood circulation, when they started the study. 

We would like to say a big "Thank you!" to all our ASCEND participants for your ongoing support for the study.

The main trial has now ended. Participants stopped taking study treatment in 2017, and results were reported in 2018. ASCEND will continue to collect information on health outcomes by obtaining routinely collected data via central data registries and NHS sources. See the long-term study section for more information about this long-term follow-up, and our Privacy Notice for information on how we use participant data.

ascend eye assessment

Requests can be made for sharing ASCEND data, with procedures for accessing the data available at:

Selected Publications

02/2024 Thromboxane biosynthesis and future events in diabetes: the ASCEND trial

01/2024 ASCEND-Eye: Effects of Aspirin on Diabetic Retinopathy

12/2023 ASCEND-Eye: Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Diabetic Retinopathy

07/2023: ASCEND-Eye: rationale, design and baseline characteristics for a sub-study of the ASCEND randomized trial, exploring the effects of aspirin and omega-3 fatty acids on diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration

06/2023: Reliability of major bleeding events in UK routine data versus clinical trial adjudicated follow-up data

06/2022 Hospital costs associated with adverse events in people with diabetes in the UK

04/2022: Effects of aspirin on dementia and cognitive function in diabetic patients: the ASCEND trial 

03/2022 Decrements in health-related quality of life associated with adverse events in people with diabetes

12/2021: Comparison of the Accuracy and Completeness of Records of Serious Vascular Events in Routinely Collected Data vs Clinical Trial-Adjudicated Direct Follow-up Data in the UK 

01/2020: Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements on Arrhythmias.

11/2019: Streamlined mail-based methods for large randomised trials: lessons learnt from the ASCEND study.

10/2018: Effects of Aspirin for Primary Prevention in Persons with Diabetes Mellitus.

10/2018: Effects of n-3 Fatty Acid Supplements in Diabetes Mellitus.

04/2018: ASCEND: A Study of Cardiovascular Events iN Diabetes: Characteristics of a randomized trial of aspirin and of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in 15,480 people with diabetes.

06/2016: Cost-effective recruitment methods for a large randomised trial in people with diabetes: A Study of Cardiovascular Events iN Diabetes (ASCEND).