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Personal information about people taking part in ASCEND comes mainly from the questionnaires that you completed on a regular basis during the trial (between 2005 and 2017). We may receive information from your GP or your hospital records about serious illnesses such as heart attacks, cancers or severe bleeding episodes. 

We also receive information from NHS health registries such as NHS England which hold national health and social care records. We provide your details (name, date of birth, NHS number or CHI number in Scotland, gender and postcode) to NHS health registries in order to receive information about study participants in return. From NHS England we receive information about: 

  • Hospital attendance and admissions
  • Dates and causes of death
  • Cancers
  • Diabetes
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Prescriptions
  • Eye health

Similar information is requested from Public Health Scotland and the NHS Central Register (NHSCR) about Scottish patients, and from Digital Health and Care Wales (DHCW), and SAIL (the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage databank) for patients in Wales. 

Finally, we obtain information about your eye health from the NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme (DESP). 

The processing of health registry data enables accurate coding of the medical events experienced by study participants, ensuring that high quality information is available for analysis.