BMJ Authors Withdraw Statin Side Effect Data
the MPR take:
Two authors of British Medical Journal articles have withdrawn statements regarding previous studies on adverse effects of statins in patients at low risk for cardiovascular disease. In research published in October 2013, John Abramson and colleagues cited a previous observational study in which side effects were reported in 18–20% of patients on statin therapy; the figure was also used in an article in the same issue by Aseem Malhotra. While both articles underwent peer review, the articles “did not reflect necessary caveats and did not take sufficient account of the uncontrolled nature.” In fact, the previous study actually found that only 9% of the study population ceased statin therapy possibly due to adverse effects. A retraction of both articles has been requested and will be determined by an independent panel.
The authors of two BMJ articles have withdrawn statements about the adverse effects of statins. The two papers inaccurately cite an earlier publication and therefore overstate the incidence of adverse effects of statins. As a result, the two papers have drawn much criticism and set off a kerfuffle involving the editor of BMJ and a prominent British trialist who is demanding a full retraction of the articles.
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