A Study of High Frequency Editorialists Favoring Hormone Replacement Therapy

Partisan Perspectives in the Medical Literature, Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2010

image of editorials or review authors with financial ties to hormone therapy (HT) manufacturers, in which there appeared to be bias in favour of HT

2010 Study Abstract

Background
Unfavorable results of major studies have led to a large shrinkage of the market for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in the last 6 years. Some scientists continue to strongly support the use of HRT.

Objectives
We analyzed a sample of partisan editorializing articles on HRT to examine their arguments, the reporting of competing interests, the journal venues and their sponsoring societies.

Data Sources
Through Thomson ISI database, we selected articles without primary data written by the five most prolific editorialists that addressed clinical topics pertaining to HRT and that were published in regular journal issues in 2002–2008.

Main Measures
We recorded the number of articles with a partisan stance and their arguments, the number of partisan articles that reported conflicting interests, and the journal venues and their sponsoring societies publishing the partisan editorials.

Key Results
We analyzed 114 eligible articles (58 editorials, 16 guidelines, 37 reviews, 3 letters), of which 110 (96%) had a partisan stance favoring HRT. Typical arguments were benefits for menopausal and related symptoms (64.9%), criticism of unfavorable studies (78.9%), preclinical data that showed favorable effects of HRT (50%), and benefits for major outcomes such as osteoporosis and fractures (49.1%), cardiovascular disease (31.6%), dementia (24.6%) or colorectal cancer (20.2%), but also even breast cancer (4.4%). All 5 prolific editorialists had financial relationships with hormone manufacturers, but these were reported in only 6 of the 110 partisan articles. Four journals published 15–37 partisan articles each. The medical societies of these journals reported on their websites that several pharmaceutical companies sponsored them or their conferences.

Conclusions
There is a considerable body of editorializing articles favoring HRT use and very few of these articles report conflicts of interest. Full disclosure of conflicts of interest is needed, especially for articles without primary data.

Sources and Press Releases
  • Partisan Perspectives in the Medical Literature: A Study of High Frequency Editorialists Favoring Hormone Replacement Therapy, Journal of General Internal Medicine, September 2010, Volume 25, Issue 9, pp 914–919, 2010.
  • More naming and shaming, ripe-tomato, APRIL 17, 2012.
  • Editorials or review authors with financial ties to hormone therapy (HT) manufacturers, in which there appeared to be bias in favour of HT featured image credit Jim Thornton.

Author: DES Daughter

Activist, blogger and social media addict committed to shedding light on a global health scandal and dedicated to raise DES awareness.

Have your say! Share your views

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s