The Oxford Vascular Study (OXVASC) provides reliable and up-to-date information on the incidence, causes and outcome of all acute vascular events, such as strokes and heart attacks, in a population of nearly 100,000 people living in various parts of Oxfordshire.


The study seeks to establish a cohort population of detailed clinical, imaging, and follow-up data, with stored blood and DNA, that will provide a source of well phenotyped patients for add-on studies.

Cohort Description:

  • Established in 2002, OXVASC is the first and only population-based study of all acute vascular events irrespective of age in the world.
  • The study has recruited 4627 patients (Jan 2012), plus additional controls and non vascular referrals, with core clinical, imaging, and follow up data with stored blood for add-on studies.
  • Truly population-based – rather than relying on volunteers – enabling conclusions to be drawn from the data without the otherwise ever-present problem of selection bias.
  • Consent rate of over 99%.
  • Controls recruited from the same population.
  • All acute MR brain and vascular imaging of transient ischemic attack (TIA) and stroke patients now takes place in the purpose built Acute Vascular Imaging Centre (AVIC). This generates more detailed imaging which allows for better recruitment of patients into studies and research trials. 171 patients have been scanned using this faciltiy (Jan 2012).


The results have already changed guidelines around the world on how patients with TIA (mini-strokes) are investigated and treated, having shown that the risk of major stroke in the next few days is very high, that those individuals at highest risk can be identified using a simple risk score, and that emergency treatment reduces this early risk of major stroke by as much as 80%.

OXVASC supports a wide range of projects; from large biomarker and genetic studies to long-term outcome studies.

Several non-stroke projects have also come to fruition, including detailed analyses of the incidence and outcome of acute coronary events, the first ever population-based study of the incidence and outcome of acute peripheral vascular events, and several studies of patient behaviour and the effectiveness of secondary prevention.


OXVASC recently provided DNA from over 1000 stroke patients to the Welcome Trust Case Control Consortium genome-wide scan.


Principal Investigator:

Professor Peter Rothwell.


OXVASC is seeking controls to support their studies.  Further information can be found by clicking on the ‘For Patients’ button here: http://www.stroke.ox.ac.uk/.


Address: OXVASC, Stroke Prevention Research Unit, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences University of Oxford, Level 6, West Wing, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, OX3 9DU

Tel: 01865 231601/ 231602 Fax: 01865 234629