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Health Professional Information

ASCEND is a mail-based, placebo controlled, randomised trial which aims to demonstrate whether aspirin and/or omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in individuals with diabetes who do not already have diagnosed occlusive arterial disease, and whether such benefits outweigh any potential risks.

In order to do this reliably, over 15,000 participants with diabetes and no clinical evidence of occlusive arterial disease have been randomly allocated to receive 100mg aspirin daily or matching placebo tablets and 1g omega-3 fatty acids or matching placebo capsules for about 7.5 years. A study of this size should have good power to detect a 15% proportional reduction in the cardiovascular event rate among such individuals. In order to be cost-effective, this study is being undertaken predominantly by mail, with back-up from a 24-hour Freefone Service.