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The Oxford Vascular Study (OxVasc) investigates vascular diseases (e.g. strokes, heart attacks) in patients registered with eight general practices in Oxfordshire. We run a rapid-access clinic for patients with suspected Transient Ischaemic Attacks (TIAs) or minor strokes. All OxVasc clinics held in the Wolfson Centre for the Prevention of Stroke and Dementia follow Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust infection control guidelines.

What is the purpose of the study?

The purpose of the Oxford Vascular Study is to find out how common vascular disease (e.g. heart attacks, strokes, transient ischaemic attacks (TIA) and other circulatory problems) is in Oxfordshire, and how it affects people’s lives. The study is unique in the world in studying all these types of vascular disease at the same time and in the same population. Our aim is to improve understanding of these conditions, and how to better treat patients.

We have been recruiting patients with vascular diseases to OxVasc since April 2002. The GP practices we work with refer patients suspected of suffering a TIA or minor stroke to our rapid-access clinic, where a specialist doctor will clinically assess the patient, arrange investigations and initiate treatment if necessary. Information is gathered as part of this clinical service in order to help answer our research questions. For patients who have had a stroke requiring admission to hospital, a member of our team visits them to discuss joining the study.

After an initial assessment, we see patients at various stages up to 10 years after their event, to see how they are recovering and to ensure they are on appropriate treatment for prevention of future strokes. By collecting information from patients over a long period of time, we can track how the need for healthcare is changing, both for individuals and the population as a whole. See below to find out what we do with the information we collect about you. So far we have published over 300 academic papers with results from our research. Some of these findings have already changed how people are assessed and treated after a TIA or stroke, both in the UK and around the world.

Our research questions

The information we gather when we see patients is used both for optimising treatment and care, and to answer our research questions:

  • How many people are having a stroke? Is the number rising or falling with time and why?
  • Can we prevent patients from having a stroke with existing preventative strategies?
  • Are there any biomarkers or genes that would identify people at greater risk of stroke or vascular cognitive impairment?

GP Practices working with oxvasc

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