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If you are in the OXVASC study, can someone you know help us? 

To answer some of our research questions, we need a comparison group of people who haven’t had a stroke, TIA or heart attack, to compare with the people who have. We ask these Controls the same questions about their medical history, family history, diet, etc, as we ask the patients who are helping with our research, check their blood pressure, and take a blood sample from them. Then we look for similarities and differences.  If you have a spouse, friend or relative who is registered with one of the GP practices we are working with, who has never had a stroke, TIA or heart attack, and who has not already been a Control for us, please encourage them to contact us on 01865 231601.

Because the people in the comparison group need to be of a similar age range to the people who have had strokes, TIAs and heart attacks, we particularly need men over fifty, and women over sixty.  We need as many people as possible in their eighties and nineties, to compare with the people in those age groups who have had vascular events.  If you are in the study after a vascular event and you are under 50 yourself, you can bring someone who is a similar age as a Control.

If you are interested in being a control, it doesn’t matter if you have other health problems, so long as you have never had a stroke, TIA or heart attack, and you are registered with one of the practices listed below.  We can see you at our clinic, either when you are accompanying your relative or friend to their follow-up appointment, or on your own; or we can see you at home. It takes about an hour, and we only need to see you once. We can help with travel expenses if you make a journey specifically to be a Control in our study.  The study information sheet for Controls, and the consent form you would have to sign, are on this website for you to look at.

The GP practices we are working with are:

  • 19 Beaumont Street, Oxford
  • Bartlemas Surgery, East Oxford Health Centre
  • Kidlington and Yarnton Medical Group
  • Exeter Surgery, Kidlington
  • The Malthouse Surgery, Abingdon
  • Marcham Road Family Health Centre, Abingdon
  • The Abingdon Surgery, 65 Stert St
  • Berinsfield Health Centre
  • Church St Practice, Wantage


You are being invited to take part in a research study.  Before you decide it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve.  Please take time to read the following information carefully and discuss it with others if you wish.  Ask us if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information. Take time to decide whether or not you wish to take part.

What is the purpose of the study?

The purpose of this study is to determine the causes of common vascular diseases (eg. heart attacks, strokes, transient ischaemic attacks and other circulatory problems). Heart attacks and stroke are caused by diseased blood vessels and we know that some people are more likely to develop diseased blood vessels than others. Risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure and a family history of similar problems are known to be important in the disease process, but there is uncertainty about other risk factors. We will compare risk factors in people with vascular disease who are in the OXVASC study already with those from people from the local area who are not in the study (“controls”) irrespective of whether they have had vascular disease in the past. We hope that this research will improve our understanding of the causes of vascular disease so that we can improve prevention and treatment.

Why have I been chosen?

You have been chosen because you are registered with one of the nine GP practices in Oxfordshire that are collaborating with us in the study and you have been proposed as a possible control by somebody who is already in the study. 

Do I have to take part?

It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part.  If you do decide to take part you will be given this information sheet to read and be asked to sign a consent form. You will be given a copy of the information sheet and signed consent form to keep. If you decide to take part you are still free to withdraw at any time and without giving a reason. 

What will happen to me if I take part?

If you decide to take part you would agree to an interview and have some simple measurements made by a study researcher (pulse, blood pressure, height, weight, and waist, hip and neck circumference) in a clinic, at home or another place of your choice. We would also take a sample of blood.  We would also like to gather some information on previous blood pressure measurements and other risk factors for vascular disease from your GP notes. All the information collected will be completely confidential. 

What are the possible disadvantages and risks to taking part?

You will be required to give a blood sample from your arm, which might cause mild transient discomfort. There are no additional risks involved.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

We hope that the information we get from this study will help us to improve the prevention and treatment of vascular disease better. Any previously unrecognised medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, that we find during the interview or examination will be explained to you so that you can have these assessed by your GP.

Will my taking part in this study be kept confidential?

All information that is collected about you during the course of the research will be kept strictly confidential. 

What will happen to the results of the research study?

It is likely that the results of this study will be published in medical journals after completion of the research. If you decide to take part in the study you will not be identified in any report. We send an annual newsletter listing the main results of the OXVASC study to any participants who wish to receive one.

Who is organising and funding the research?

This research is being organised by Professor Rothwell (Stroke Prevention Research Unit, University of Oxford) in collaboration with the Department of Primary Health Care, the Department of Cardiology and your participating General Practice. The study is funded by the Stroke Association and the Medical Research Council.

Who has reviewed the study?

The Oxfordshire Research Ethics Committee A has approved the study.

Contact for Further Information

If you would like any further information please ask the researcher who is discussing this information sheet with you or by contacting the Oxford Vascular Study Office (telephone - 01865 231601).

Thank you for reading this information sheet.