FOR years the humble aspirin has been heralded as a ‘wonder drug’ which can help battle a host of ills.

Now a team of Oxford researchers want to know if it could help protect diabetes sufferers from heart disease and stroke.

Experts at the Diabetes Trial Unit, based at the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, need volunteers to take part in a groundbreaking trial which could one day help shape the way diabetes sufferers are cared for.

Dr Angelyn Bethel, who is leading the Translational Research Group, is looking for 24 people with diabetes, who do not have heart disease, to join a 12-week study.

Dr Bethel said: “Aspirin can help prevent both heart attacks and strokes because it makes platelets, which are part of our blood, less likely to stick together and form a clot, which can block arteries.

“Unfortunately aspirin does not appear to work as well in people with diabetes who have a two-fold greater risk of heart attack or stroke than people without diabetes.”

Aspirin became a household name as a painkiller about 100 years ago.

But since then it has been found to reduce the risk of several life threatening diseases, including heart disease and cancer, as well as working as an anti-inflammatory, and reducing fever and blood clotting.

Each person who takes part in the British Heart Foundation sponsored trial will receive in random order 100mg aspirin once a day, 200mg once a day or 100mg twice a day for two weeks at a time.

Dr Bethel said the researchers would measure the effect of the different aspirin doses to see if taking it more frequently, or at a higher dose, made blood platelets less ‘sticky’.

She added: “It is so important that people continue to get involved in these trials. We really can’t go forward without these kind of studies.”

  • For details on how to get involved with the study, email or call 01865 857287. For more details about the Diabetes Trial Unit click on the link.