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The University of Southampton

Information for Patients

Thank you for your interest in the ATTACK Study: Aspirin To Target Arterial Events in Chronic Kidney Disease

Video to describe the ATTACK trial
Video to describe the ATTACK trial

Who is this study for?

Some patients will receive a letter from their GP inviting them to take part in ATTACK because tests in their medical record suggest that their kidneys may not be working normally.

Kidney tests often vary over time so we would repeat the tests for any patients who volunteer to see if they have CKD.

We diagnose CKD using a blood test to measure kidney function and a urine test to measure if the kidneys are leaking protein.

If you have received an invitation letter, please read on to find out more...

What are the benefits of taking part?

Until we complete the research, we will not know whether taking aspirin benefits people with CKD, but we believe that the results of this trial will be extremely important for the NHS.

If the benefits of aspirin are shown to outweigh the risks, then treatment will be available immediately to about 3 million people with CKD.

We estimate that this will help prevent around 50,000 heart attacks and strokes across the UK over a five-year period.

This trial may also lead to major cost savings for the NHS, because aspirin is a very cheap drug and the costs of heart attack and stroke in people with CKD are very high (up to £1 billion per year).

What are the disadvantages of taking part?

Low dose aspirin is generally safe but like all drugs, aspirin can have side effects.

The most important side effect of aspirin is bleeding, particularly from the stomach and intestine.

Your GP may prescribe an additional medication to reduce possible stomach irritation.


What is involved if I decide to take part?

If you decide to take part, we will contact you by telephone to make just one appointment to see you at your local GP surgery.

At this appointment, a research nurse will discuss the study with you and you will be able to ask any questions you have about the study.

If you are happy to join the study after this discussion, you will be asked to sign a consent form. The consent form confirms that you agree to take part, and that you give us permission to look at your medical records until the study is finished.

We will also carry out some simple measurements such as measuring your blood pressure, and we will collect a small blood and urine sample to measure your kidney function. These samples will be analysed in hospital laboratories and discarded following analysis.

If your tests show that you do have CKD we will contact you by telephone after 2-6 weeks.

If you would still like to take part, you will be allocated at random to either take low-dose aspirin once a day in addition to your regular prescribed medication, OR continue with your regular medication alone.

If you take part in the study, it is important that you do not take any “over-the-counter” aspirin (i.e. that has not been prescribed by a doctor).  This includes cold and flu remedies that contain aspirin.

Once the study starts, we will find out whether you have had a heart attack or stroke or experienced any episodes of bleeding by analysing your GP and hospital electronic records, and this is why we need your consent to look at your medical records.

Once a year, we will contact you by letter or email and ask some basic questions about your health, but you will not be asked to attend any additional appointments.


Will my taking part in the study be kept confidential?

All information that we collect about you during the study will be kept strictly confidential and will be stored securely on a password-protected database.

Only trained members of the research team and individuals from regulatory authorities (people who check that we are carrying out the study correctly) will have access to your records. All of these people have a duty to keep your information strictly confidential.

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