Crohn's Disease Forum » Books, Multimedia, Research & News » Not CD related but interesting regarding unpublished studies

05-19-2016, 05:45 PM   #1
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Not CD related but interesting regarding unpublished studies
Mom to
C age 19
dx March 2012 CD

CURRENT MEDS: MTX injections, Stelara

Dx May 2014: JSpA
8/2014 ileocecectomy
9/2017 G tube

PAST MEDS: remicade, oral mtx, humira
05-20-2016, 06:15 AM   #2
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Yeah, from what I've read not publishing studies has been a common problem over the decades in all areas of health care. There have been several published studies too that have found saturated fats not to be a health issue, in the past and present, but generally overlooked.

Then you get into the issue of how a study is reported, with relative risk being reported instead of the more important absolute risks. I've seen many write about that problem with the older nutritional studies.

One of the bigger offenders reportedly has been companies doing studies, and then not publishing, due to possible hurt product sales. As mentioned in the article, the Cochrane research group has brought this problem up many times, along with Dr. Peter Gotzsche who is part of that group i believe and an out spoken critic of the practice.

I've read that some measures were made in the past to help address this problem, but reportedly the issue continues.

One example that comes to mind.

"Review finds data on antidepressants biased and misleading"


...And even if we focus on the science and the studies, evidence-based medicine is still fraught with difficulty. And just one factor here is what is known as ‘publication bias’ ” which describes the phenomenon when ‘positive’ studies tend to be more readily published than ‘negative’ ones. Such shenanigans are well known in medical research, and can give a very skewed impression of drug effectiveness and its risk-benefit profile.

This week’s New England Journal of Medicine carried an interesting article which sought to identify publication bias in the area of antidepressant medication [2]. The researchers assessed a total of 74 studies that had been registered with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the USA. Some of these studies had been published, but many (details below). The researchers obtained the unpublished studies via various means including the invoking of the freedom of information act.

Analysing the 74 studies, the researchers found that:

38 had positive results, and all but one of these had been published.

36 had negative results, and 22 of these had not been published at all.

Of the 36 negative studies, 11 had been published, but in a way that conveyed a positive outcome (this is not ‘publication bias’ by the way, just plain ‘bias’).

This meant that of all the published studies, 94 per cent appeared to have positive findings.

However, FDA analysis revealed that 51 per cent of studies were genuinely positive.

Overall, publication bias meant that the drugs appeared about a third more effective than they are in reality (if all trials are taken into consideration).

The lead author of this study, Dr Erick Turner, is reported as saying: The bottom line for people considering an antidepressant, I think, is that they should be more circumspect about taking it.� That sounds like good advice to me. But I’d add that this data also suggests that doctors might be a bit more circumspect about prescribing them in the first place.

This is not the first time that there’s been evidence of publication bias in the area of antidepressants. Previous analysis found the same situation seems to have gone on regarding the use of antidepressants in adolescents [3]. This Lancet review found that while published studies support the use of a variety of various antidepressants in childhood depression, unpublished data shows that, in the main, risks of treatment such as an enhanced tendency towards suicidal behaviour seem to have been significantly underplayed. All this stuff on selective publication of data on antidepressant medication makes pretty depressing reading, I reckon.
05-20-2016, 07:10 AM   #3
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Research that counters the conventional theories in science and medicine are often discredited. In academic research there is a finite pool of funds that is doled out. So if lab is trying to publish a paper that gives evidence countering the research of the Peer review panel-they likely will discredit it. Not only since the paper would discredit their own findings but because it might shift the pool of funds to further research in a direction away from your own. There is a lot of incompetency and bias in the research field, on many levels.
05-20-2016, 12:10 PM   #4
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Interesting because there is other research today that shows relationships between polyunsatured fats and encouraging the growth of cancers, therefore reinforcing these older unpublished studies. I think its more so the omega 6 then the omega 3 fats, also melatonin can downregulate the enzyme cancer cells use to metabolize polyunsaturated fats.
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