Friday, February 22, 2013

You Can Trust a Cardiologist


Or, at least, their integrity in conduct of research is unimpeachable.

Adding to the conflict of interest debate, this study from the American College of Cardiology evaluated all studies regarding "cardiovascular disease" published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, and JAMA over an eight year period.  Studies were discarded if no conflict of interest information was explicitly provided, and, eventually, 550 articles were selected for analysis.

The bad news: conflict of interest was "ubiquitous", in the authors' own words.  The good news:  it didn't seem to affect positivity/negativity of the results.  In fact, the authors couldn't identify any specific funding or COI factor associated with a preponderance of positive published trial results.

It's a little odd these authors evaluated solely cardiovascular trials.  And, yes, these journals have the greatest impact factor – but there are plenty of trials published in a variety of other relatively prominent cardiovascular journals that might have been interesting to include.  The external validity of their study is limited by their methodology.

But, at least, for this narrowest of narrow slices, positive and negative trials abounded.  Quite unexpected, to say the least.

"Authors’ Self-Declared Financial Conflicts of Interest Do Not Impact the Results of Major Cardiovascular Trials"
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23395075

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