The Complicated Story Behind Yet Another Disappeared Article At A Top Heart Journal Reply

Once again the European Heart Journal has “unpublished” an article without any notice of retraction or explanation. Strangely, the article– Russian science through the prism of intelligence: is fraud still possible?– can still be viewed (at least for now) with a vestigial URL , but it can not be found through the usual channels on the journal site. The pages for the story on PubMed and the EHJ site now state: “This article has been temporarily removed.”

…a more careful examination of the original article leads to the suspicion that this story is a bit more complicated and raises questions both about the internal peer review process at the EHJ and about the original paper.

Click here to read the full post on Forbes.

 

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Leading European Cardiologist Accused Of Plagiarism Reply

Thomas Lüscher, the editor of the European Heart Journal and one of the most prominent cardiologists in Europe, has been accused of plagiarism. An irony in the case is that  Lüscher has taken a strong public position against scientific misconduct of all sorts, including plagiarism.

Click here to read the full post on Forbes.

 

This Blog Is ‘Not Suitable For Dissemination Through The Internet’ 1

The editors of the prestigious European Heart Journal have decided that this blog, or at least one recent post, “is “not suitable for dissemination through the internet.”

I beg to differ.

In an EHJ editorial, Is the panic about beta-blockers in perioperative care justified?the authors, the editors of the journal, led by editor-in-chief Thomas Lüscher, repeatedly criticize a post I wrote a few weeks ago with an intentionally provocative headline, “Medicine Or Mass Murder? Guideline Based on Discredited Research May Have Caused 800,000 Deaths In Europe Over The Last 5 Years.”

Their editorial begins:

Controversial issues need proper discussion, both in science and clinical medicine. Sometimes the interpretation of the available data is complex and not suitable for dissemination through the internet.1

That reference at the end refers to my earlier article.

Click here to read the full post on Forbes.

 

Censorship
Censorship (Photo credit: IsaacMao)

Lancet Formally Retracts Jikei Heart Study Of Valsartan Reply

The Lancet has formally retracted the Jikei Heart Study paper, originally published in 2007. The retraction had been widely anticipated for more than a month, after a series of news reports in Japan made it clear that the long-simmering controversy over scientific misconduct involving the Novartis blood pressure lowering drug valsartan (Diovan) had come to a full boil. (See our earlier story here.)

As reported previously, the current scandal first began to unfold in late 2011 when a Japanese blogger pointed to a number of apparent errors in publications authored by Hiroaki Matsubara. This ultimately led to a series of retractions of Matsubara’s papers and the retraction of the main paper of the Kyoto Heart Study itself by the European Heart Journal.

In the notice of retraction

Click here to read the full story on Forbes.

Sex And The Cardiac Patient Should Not Be A Taboo Subject 3

It’s not an easy conversation to have. After a heart attack or other major cardiac event, talking about sex is awkward, and often avoided by patients, their partners, and physicians. But a new consensus statement from several major cardiology organizations urges physicians to get over their reluctance or embarrassment and counsel their cardiac patients about this important, but often neglected, aspect of their lives.

After a patient has a heart attack, stroke, cardiac surgery, cardiac device implantation, or is newly diagnosed with a cardiovascular condition, physicians and other healthcare professionals should provide individually tailored information and advice about a wide variety of issues relating to sexual activity, according to the consensus document developed by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the European Society of Cardiology and published in Circulation and the European Heart Journal. The advice “should address topics such as when to resume sex, specific methods and recommended positions, and the role of intimacy without sex,” said the American Heart Association in a press release.

The statement cites numerous concerns, both psychological and physiological, that patients may have after a coronary event, including “general anxiety, fear of having another MI, feeling unwanted by their partner or not good enough, changes in self-perceptions, inadequate knowledge regarding the impact of heart medications, and finally, partner concerns.”

Click here to read the full story on Forbes.

 

 

Take Your Blood Pressure Pills Or Increase Your Risk Of Stroke Reply

A large new observational study demonstrates that people who don’t take their antihypertensive medications are much more likely to have a stroke. The new study, published in the European Heart Journal, used nationwide prescription, hospital and mortality records from 73,527 hypertensive patients in Finland.

The Finnish investigators compared 26,704 patients who were hospitalized or died of stroke with 46,823 patients who did not have an event. The stroke patients were older, less educated, had lower income, and were more likely to have diabetes or cancer than controls.

After adjusting for baseline differences between the groups, patients who were non-adherent were two to four times more likely to die from stroke or be hospitalized for stroke than their adherent counterparts.

Click here to read the full story on Forbes.

 

Too Much, Too Fast? Cross-Country Skiing And Heart Arrhythmias 1

When it comes to exercise it may be true that you can do too much or go too fast. It may seem counterintuitive but a new study finds that among cross-country skiers the risk of having a cardiac arrhythmia was highest in those who raced the fastest or most often.

In a paper published in the European Heart JournalSwedish researchers report on more than 50,000 participants in the Vasaloppetan enormously popular 90 kilometer cross-country skiing event that takes place each year in Sweden. Previous research has shown that Vasaloppet participants are, not surprisingly, healthier than other Swedes across a broad range of measures. The new research, however, shows that those participants who finished with the fastest times or who completed more races were more likely to develop an arrhythmia.

Click here to read the full post on Forbes.

 

 

 

 

 

Japanese Research Scandal Expands To A Second Trial And A Novartis Employee Reply

A Japanese research scandal, which has so far centered on actions taken by the once-prominent cardiologist Hiroaki Matsubara, has now expanded. As has been previously reported, several papers authored by Matsubara have been retracted, including, most notably, the main publication of the Kyoto Heart Study in the European Heart Journal.

Now, however, questions have been raised about  another clinical trial, the Jikei Heart Trial, which was published in the Lancet in 2007.  (Matsubara was not involved in this trial.) Novartis, which manufactures valsartan (Diovan), the drug studied in both trials, has announced that it is investigating both trials in response to new allegations that a Novartis employee worked on the trials without any disclosure of his company affiliation.

Click here to read the full story on Forbes.

Scientific Misconduct: From Darwin And Mendel To Poldermans And Matsubara Reply

Responding to recent episodes of scientific misconduct in cardiovascular research involving once prominent cardiovascular researchers, the editor of the European Heart Journal, Thomas Lüscherhas written an editorial discussing the significance of the new cases and placing them in a historical context that includes allegations of scientific misconduct by Mendel and Darwin, among many others.

Poldermans was the first or the senior author in 7 papers published in EHJ. Lüscher writes that the chairman of the Poldermans investigative committee “made it clear that the vast amount of publications led by Poldermans over the last decades made it impossible to assess their scientific validity in all cases.” As a result, Poldermans announces that “the editors of the European Heart Journal therefore would like to make an expression of concern related to the papers where Poldermans was the responsible author.”

Comment: Without more information there will continue to be a large cloud of uncertainty hanging over the cardiovascular literature. The statement of the chairman of the Poldermans committee bears repeating: “the vast amount of publications led by Poldermans over the last decades made it impossible to assess their scientific validity in all cases.”

 Click here to read the full story on Forbes.

 

Gregor Mendel
Gregor Mendel

 

Don Poldermans

 

 

 

 

HPS2-THRIVE Coming Attraction: First Look At What Went Wrong With Niacin Reply

In a few weeks, on March 9, the main results of the HPS2-THRIVE (Heart Protection Study 2-Treatment of HDL to Reduce the Incidence of Vascular Events) study will be presented in San Francisco at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology. These results have been eagerly awaited since Merck’s brief announcement in December that the trial had not met its primary endpoint and that it would no longer pursue approval of Tredaptive, the combination of extended-release niacin and laropiprant, in the US. The trial was designed to assess whether adding the niacin/laropiprant combination to standard statin therapy in high risk individuals would further reduce vascular events.

Now, serving almost as a coming attraction for the main event at the ACC, an important substudy from HPS2-THRIVE has been published in the European Heart JournalThe paper discusses the trial design, the pre-specified muscle and liver outcomes, and the reasons for stopping treatment during the trial.

Click here to read the full story in Forbes.

European Heart Journal

European Heart Journal Retracts Main Paper Of The Kyoto Heart Study 1

The editors of the European Heart Journal have retracted the 2009 paper reporting the main results of the Kyoto Heart Study, a randomized, open-labeled study testing the add-on effect of valsartan to conventional therapy in high-risk hypertension. The retraction notice gave no details about the problems that led to the retraction. Here is the full text of the retraction notice:

“This article has been retracted by the journal. Critical problems existed with some of the data reported in the above paper. The editors of the European Heart Journal hereby retract this paper and discourage citations of it.”

Click here to read the full story on Forbes.

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